Femtosecond Field-Driven On-Chip Unidirectional Electronic Currents in Nonadiabatic Tunneling Regime

authored by
Liping Shi, Ihar Babushkin, Anton Husakou, Oliver Melchert, Bettina Frank, Juemin Yi, Gustav Wetzel, Ayhan Demircan, Christoph Lienau, Harald Giessen, Misha Ivanov, Uwe Morgner, Milutin Kovacev

Recently, asymmetric plasmonic nanojunctions [Karnetzky et. al., Nature Comm. 2471, 9 (2018)] have shown promise as on-chip electronic devices to convert femtosecond optical pulses to current bursts, with a bandwidth of multi-terahertz scale, although yet at low temperatures and pressures. Such nanoscale devices are of great interest for novel ultrafast electronics and opto-electronic applications. Here, we operate the device in air and at room temperature, revealing the mechanisms of photoemission from plasmonic nanojunctions, and the fundamental limitations on the speed of optical-to-electronic conversion. Inter-cycle interference of coherent electronic wavepackets results in a complex energy electron distribution and birth of multiphoton effects. This energy structure, as well as reshaping of the wavepackets during their propagation from one tip to the other, determine the ultrafast dynamics of the current. We show that, up to some level of approximation, the electron flight time is well-determined by the mean ponderomotive velocity in the driving field.

Institute of Quantum Optics
PhoenixD: Photonics, Optics, and Engineering - Innovation Across Disciplines
Institute of Electronic Materials and Devices
External Organisation(s)
Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy im Forschungsbund Berlin e.V. (MBI)
Westlake University
Westlake Institute for Advanced Study
University of Stuttgart
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Laser & photonics reviews
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials, Condensed Matter Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
Electronic version(s)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.03091v1 (Access: Open)
https://doi.org/10.1002/lpor.202000475 (Access: Open)