Plasmon gain by core-level electrons or elastic electrons observed in past studies seems to be of no practical value in material characterization, mainly because of their ultralow signal intensities. Nevertheless, in the emission spectra of Au samples, we have observed plasmon gain in secondary electrons. The electrons gain energy from surface plasmons after escaping from the surface and thereby only carry surface-plasmon information in the vacuum above the surface. Because the intensity of the emitted SEs is strong, rivaling that of core-level or elastic electrons, the observed phenomenon has in practice the potential to image directly in space the surface plasmon near but exterior to the metal surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry