Nanoantennas offer the ultimate spatial control over light by concentrating optical energy well below the diffraction limit, whereas their quality factor (Q) is constrained by large radiative and dissipative losses. Dielectric microcavities, on the other hand, are capable of generating a high Q-factor through an extended photon storage time but have a diffraction-limited optical mode volume. Here we bridge the two worlds, by studying an exemplary hybrid system integrating plasmonic gold nanorods acting as nanoantennas with an on-resonance dielectric photonic crystal (PC) slab acting as a low-loss microcavity and, more importantly, by synergistically combining their advantages to produce a much stronger local field enhancement than that of the separate entities. To achieve this synergy between the two polar opposite types of nanophotonic resonant elements, we show that it is crucial to coordinate both the dissipative loss of the nanoantenna and the Q-factor of the low-loss cavity. In comparison to the antenna-cavity coupling approach using a Fabry-Perot resonator, which has proved successful for resonant amplification of the antenna's local field intensity, we theoretically and experimentally show that coupling to a modest-Q PC guided resonance can produce a greater amplification by at least an order of magnitude. The synergistic nanoantenna-microcavity hybrid strategy opens new opportunities for further enhancing nanoscale light-matter interactions to benefit numerous areas such as nonlinear optics, nanolasers, plasmonic hot carrier technology, and surface-enhanced Raman and infrared absorption spectroscopies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7569-7577
Number of pages9
JournalNano letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 13 2017


  • Nanoantenna
  • local field enhancement
  • nanophotonics
  • optical microcavity
  • photonic crystal
  • plasmonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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