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In this article we experimentally demonstrate the strong coupling between surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) and the S(2) state of β-carotene. The SPPs are excited by prism coupling technique on a thin silver film with β-carotene embedded in a polymer layer on top of that. Rabi splittings with energies 80 and 130 meV are observed in the recorded dispersion relations. Both coupled oscillator model and transfer matrix method are used to fit the experimental results. The scattered radiation of the propagating strongly coupled SPP-S(2) hybrids is collected and an increase of the low energy splitting to 120 meV is observed compared to the reflectivity data. In addition, we performed molecule excitation by laser and analyzed the emission patterns revealing clear surface plasmon coupled fluorescence of β-carotene. By increasing the concentration of β-carotene we are able to collect also surface plasmon coupled Raman scattering. This study substantially extends the SPP-molecular excitation strong coupling studies to biomolecules, and energy transfer and coupling properties of excited states of carotenoids.


S Baieva, J A Ihalainen, J J Toppari. Strong coupling between surface plasmon polaritons and β-carotene in nanolayered system. The Journal of chemical physics. 2013 Jan 28;138(4):044707

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PMID: 23387615

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