Ultrastrong coupling of CdZnS/ZnS quantum dots to bonding breathing plasmons of aluminum metal-insulator-metal nanocavities in near-ultraviolet spectrum
Strong coupling originated from excitons of quantum dots and plasmons in nanocavites can be realized at room temperature due to large electromagnetic field enhancement of plasmons, offering building blocks for quantum information systems, ultralow-power switches and lasers. However, most of current strong coupling effects were realized by the interaction between exctions and far-field light excited bright plasmon modes in visible range. Beyond that, it is still lack of direct imaging of polartion modes at the nanoscale. In this work, by using cathodoluminescence, ultrastrong coupling with Rabi splitting exceeding 1 eV between bonding breathing plasmons of aluminum (Al) metal-insulator-metal (MIM) cavity and excited states of CdZnS/ZnS quantum dots was observed in near-ultraviolet (UV) spectrum. In further, the hybridization of the QDs excitons and bonding breathing plasmonic modes is verified by deep-subwavelength images of polaritonic modes in real-space. Analytic analysis based on the coupled oscillator model and full-wave electromagnetic simulations are consistent with our experimental results. Our work not only indicates the great potential of electron excited plasmon modes for strong coupling applications, but also extends the polaritonic frequency to the UV range with Al nanocavities.