Tailoring Fano lineshapes using plasmonic nanobars for highly sensitive sensing and directional emission
Plasmonic oligomers are one class of the most promising nanoclusters for generating Fano resonances. This study reveals that a nanobar-based heptamer concurrently sustains triple polarization-dependent Fano resonances, in sharp contrast to traditional nanodisk or nanosphere-based counterparts. Benefiting from the enhanced near field and reduced spectral linewidth, the gold heptamer exhibits a high refractive index sensitivity (940 nm per RIU) together with a figure of merit (FoM) value as large as 20.9, which outperforms that of most other gold oligomers. On the other hand, it is found that the spectral positions of hybridized eigenmodes depend strongly on the spatial configurations of the constituent nanobars. As a proof of concept, we design a simple heterodimer comprising a nanocross and a nanobar, where plasmonic modes with opposite radiative decay characteristics are excellently overlapped both spectrally and spatially by elaborate tailoring. Double strong Fano resonances appear on opposite sides of the spectrum as expected. More interestingly, the radiation main lobes all point to one direction at these two Fano resonances due to the spatial charge distributions and mode interferences with the maximal directivity ratio (DR) as high as 22.4, in a similar manner to the radio frequency (RF) Yagi–Uda antenna. Furthermore, the emission directions can also be easily switched by adjusting the orientations of the individual nanobar in the heterodimer. Our study demonstrates that the nanobar-based oligomers with tailored Fano lineshapes could serve as versatile and delicate platforms for the label-free biochemical sensing and directional transmission of optical information at the nanometre scale.