Comparative study of plasmonic antennas fabricated by electron beam and focused ion beam lithography

We present a comparative study of plasmonic antennas fabricated by electron beam lithography and direct focused ion beam milling. We have investigated optical and structural properties and chemical composition of gold disc-shaped plasmonic antennas on a silicon nitride membrane fabricated by both methods to identify their advantages and disadvantages. Plasmonic antennas were characterized using transmission electron microscopy including electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. We have found stronger plasmonic response with better field confinement in the antennas fabricated by electron beam lithography, which is attributed to their better structural quality, homogeneous thickness, and only moderate contamination mostly of organic nature. Plasmonic antennas fabricated by focused ion beam lithography feature weaker plasmonic response, lower structural quality with pronounced thickness fluctuations, and strong contamination, both organic and inorganic, including implanted ions from the focused beam. While both techniques are suitable for the fabrication of plasmonic antennas, electron beam lithography shall be prioritized over focused ion beam lithography due to better quality and performance of its products.
Scientific Reports. 2018, vol. 8, issue 1, p. 9640-9648.
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