Publication: Silver cluster fluorescence in a plasmonic cavity

We have proposed, implemented and investigated a novel, efficient quantum emitter based on an atomic-sized Ag nanocluster in a plasmonic resonator. The quantum emitter enables the realization of: (1) ultra-bright fluorescence, (2) narrow-band emission down to 4 nm, (3) ultra-short fluorescence lifetime. The fluorescence cross-section of a quantum emitter is on the order of σ ∼ 10−14 cm2, which is comparable to the largest fluorescence cross-sections of dye molecules and quantum dots, and enables a light source with a record high intensity known only for plasmon nanolasers. The results presented suggest a unique method for fabricating nanoprobes with high brightness and wavelength-tunable spectrally narrow fluorescence, which is needed for multiplex diagnostics and detection of substances at extremely low concentrations.

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