Being able to dynamically shape light at the nanoscale is one of the ultimate goals in nano-optics1. Resonant light–matter interaction can be achieved using conventional plasmonics based on metal nanostructures, but their tunability is highly limited due to a fixed permittivity2. Materials with switchable states and methods for dynamic control of light–matter interaction at the nanoscale are therefore desired. Here we show that nanodisks of a conductive polymer can support localized surface plasmon resonances in the near-infrared and function as dynamic nano-optical antennas, with their resonance behaviour tunable by chemical redox reactions. These plasmons originate from the mobile polaronic charge carriers of a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene:sulfate) (PEDOT:Sulf) polymer network. We demonstrate complete and reversible switching of the optical response of the nanoantennas by chemical tuning of their redox state, which modulates the material permittivity between plasmonic and dielectric regimes via non-volatile changes in the mobile charge carrier density. Further research may study different conductive polymers and nanostructures and explore their use in various applications, such as dynamic meta-optics and reflective displays.
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The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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The authors thankfully acknowledge financial support from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linköping University (Faculty Grant SFO-Mat-LiU No. 2009 00971).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Nanotechnology thanks Drew Evans and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Chen, S., Kang, E.S.H., Shiran Chaharsoughi, M. et al. Conductive polymer nanoantennas for dynamic organic plasmonics. Nat. Nanotechnol. 15, 35–40 (2020) doi:10.1038/s41565-019-0583-y
Nature Nanotechnology (2019)