Abstract

The width d of an air gap between a 10-nm-thick luminescent europium benzoyltrifluoroacetone chelate film on a glass substrate and a 35-nm-thick layer of gold evaporated onto the base of a hemicylindrical high-index prism was varied between d ≫ λ and d = 0. Thus the coupling of the luminescent centers (Eu3+ ions, emission wavelength λ = 612 nm) to the surface plasmons of the metal was varied. The luminescence lifetime decreased from τ = 520 μsec for d ≫ λ to τ = 120 μsec for d = 0. By comparison of measured and calculated radiation patterns, i.e., of the angular distributions of the luminescent light emitted into the prism, the air gap d can be determined.

© 1981 Optical Society of America

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