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International Journal of Optics
Volume 2012, Article ID 318104, 9 pages
Research Article

Plasmonic-Resonant Bowtie Antenna for Carbon Nanotube Photodetectors

1Department of Electrical and Computer, Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China

Received 12 September 2011; Accepted 17 November 2011

Academic Editor: A. Femius Koenderink

Copyright © 2012 Hongzhi Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The design of bowtie antennas for carbon nanotube (CNT) photodetectors has been investigated. CNT photodetectors have shown outstanding performance by using CNT as sensing element. However, detection wavelength is much larger than the diameter of the CNT, resulting in small fill factor. Bowtie antenna can confine light into a subwavelength volume based on plasmonic resonance, thus integrating a bowtie antenna to CNT photodetectors can highly improve photoresponse of the detectors. The electric field enhancement of bowtie antennas was calculated using the device geometry by considering fabrication difficulties and photodetector structure. It is shown that the electric field intensity enhancement increased exponentially with distance reduction between the CNT photodetector to the antenna. A redshift of the peak resonance wavelength is predicted due to the increase of tip angles of the bowtie antennas. Experimental results showed that photocurrent enhancement agreed well with theoretical calculations. Bowtie antennas may find wide applications in nanoscale photonic sensors.