We show cathodoluminescence-based time-resolved electron beam spectroscopy in order to directly probe the spontaneous emission decay rate that is modified by the local density of states in a nanoscale environment. In contrast to dedicated laser-triggered electron-microscopy setups, we use commercial hardware in a standard SEM, which allows us to easily switch from pulsed to continuous operation of the SEM. Electron pulses of 80–90 ps duration are generated by conjugate blanking of a high-brightness electron beam, which allows probing emitters within a large range of decay rates. Moreover, we simultaneously attain a resolution better than λ/10, which ensures details at deep-subwavelength scales can be retrieved. As a proof-of-principle, we employ the pulsed electron beam to spatially measure excited-state lifetime modifications in a phosphor material across the edge of an aluminum half-plane, coated on top of the phosphor. The measured emission dynamics can be directly related to the structure of the sample by recording photon arrival histograms together with the secondary-electron signal. Our results show that time-resolved electron cathodoluminescence spectroscopy is a powerful tool of choice for nanophotonics, within reach of a large audience.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- Quantum electrodynamics
- Subwavelength structures
- OA-Fund TU Delft