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Revisiting the Photon-Drag Effect in Metal Films

Published

Author(s)

Jared H. Strait, Glenn E. Holland, Wenqi Zhu, Cheng Zhang, Bojan R. Ilic, Amit K. Agrawal, Domenico Pacifici, Henri J. Lezec

Abstract

The photon-drag effect, the rectified current in a medium induced by conservation of momentum of absorbed or redirected light, is a unique probe of the detailed mechanisms underlying radiation pressure. We revisit this effect in gold, a canonical Drude metal. We discover that the signal for p-polarized illumination in ambient air is affected in both sign and magnitude by adsorbed molecules, opening previous measurements for reinterpretation. Further, we show that the intrinsic sign of the photon-drag effect is contrary to the prevailing intuitive model of direct momentum transfer to free electrons.
Citation
Physical Review Letters
Volume
123
Issue
5

Keywords

light-matter interaction, gold, photon drag, radiation pressure
Created August 2, 2019, Updated January 27, 2020