Recent Progress on Optoplasmonic Whispering-Gallery-Mode Microcavities
Optoplasmonic whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) microcavities, consisting of plasmonic nanostructures and optical microcavities, provide excellent platforms for exploring fundamental mechanisms as well as facilitating novel optoplasmonic applications. These integrated systems support hybrid modes with both subwavelength mode confinement and high-quality factor which do not exist in either pure optical WGM microcavities or plasmonic resonators. In this progress report, geometric designs and fabrication strategies of optoplasmonic microcavities, which efficiently bridge the interaction between resonant light and plasmonic resonances, are reviewed in detail. Three types of hybrid modes in the optoplasmonic microcavities, that is, surface-plasmon-polariton whispering-gallery modes, hybrid photon–plasmon whispering-gallery modes, and heterostructured metal–dielectric whispering-gallery modes, are considered. These modes are characterized by a largely enhanced evanescent field that is referred to as a plasmon-type field in hybrid whispering-gallery modes. Moreover, the coupling effect between localized surface plasmon resonances and whispering-gallery modes is summarized. The underlying coupling mechanisms and their influence on mode shifts, Q factor, mode splitting, and line shapes of the whispering-gallery modes are discussed. Applications based on optoplasmonic WGM microcavities including enhanced sensing, nanolasing, and free-space coupling are highlighted, followed by an outlook of the opportunities and challenges in developing large-scale on-chip integrated optoplasmonic systems.