Helicity locking of chiral light emitted from a plasmonic nanotaper
Surface plasmon waves carry an intrinsic transverse spin, which is locked to its propagation direction. Apparently, when a singular plasmonic mode is guided on a conic surface this spin-locking may lead to a strong circular polarization of the far--field emission. Specifically, a plasmonic vortex excited on a flat metal surface propagates on an adiabatically tapered gold nanocone where the mode accelerates and finally beams out from the tip apex. The helicity of this beam is shown to be single-handed and stems solely from the transverse spin-locking of the helical plasmonic wave-front. We present a simple geometric model that fully predicts the emerging light spin in our system. Finally we experimentally demonstrate the helicity-locking phenomenon by using accurately fabricated nanostructures and confirm the results with the model and numerical data.