Sub-nanometre control of the coherent interaction between a single molecule and a plasmonic nanocavity

Nat Commun. 2017 May 19;8:15225. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15225.


The coherent interaction between quantum emitters and photonic modes in cavities underlies many of the current strategies aiming at generating and controlling photonic quantum states. A plasmonic nanocavity provides a powerful solution for reducing the effective mode volumes down to nanometre scale, but spatial control at the atomic scale of the coupling with a single molecular emitter is challenging. Here we demonstrate sub-nanometre spatial control over the coherent coupling between a single molecule and a plasmonic nanocavity in close proximity by monitoring the evolution of Fano lineshapes and photonic Lamb shifts in tunnelling electron-induced luminescence spectra. The evolution of the Fano dips allows the determination of the effective interaction distance of ∼1 nm, coupling strengths reaching ∼15 meV and a giant self-interaction induced photonic Lamb shift of up to ∼3 meV. These results open new pathways to control quantum interference and field-matter interaction at the nanoscale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't