Free electrons can efficiently absorb or emit plasmons excited in a thin conductor, giving rise to multiple energy peaks in the transmitted electron spectra separated by multiples of the plasmon energy. When the plasmons are chiral, this can also give rise to transfer of orbital angular momentum (OAM). Here, we show that large amounts of OAM can be efficiently transferred between chiral plasmons supported by a thin film and free electrons traversing it. Under realistic conditions, our predictive simulations reveal efficient absorption of a number 1 of chiral plasmons of vorticity m1, resulting in an OAM transfer m. Our work supports the use of chiral plasmons sustained by externally illuminated thin films as a way of generating high-vorticity electrons, resulting in a remarkably large fraction of kinetic energy associated with motion along the azimuthal direction, perpendicular to the incident beam.
|Journal||Physical Review B|
|State||Published - 24 Jul 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics