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While investigating above-threshold light emission from electromigrated tunnel junctions, researchers from Rice University and the University of Colorado Boulder discovered that an unexpectedly bright emission could emerge from a nanoscale gap between two electrodes made of plasmonic materials, particularly gold.
The researchers previously had found that excited electrons, when leaping a nanoscale gap in a phenomenon known as tunneling, created a larger voltage than if there were no gap in the metallic platforms.
In the new study, the researchers found that when these hot electrons were created by electrons driven to tunnel between gold electrodes, their recombination with holes emitted strong light, and the greater the input…READ MORE