Nanoscale plasmonic systems combine the advantages of optical frequencies with those of small spatial scales, circumventing the limitations of conventional photonic systems by exploiting the strong field confinement of surface plasmons. As a result of this miniaturization to the nanoscale, electron microscopy techniques are the natural investigative methods of choice. Recent years have seen the development of a number of electron microscopy techniques that combine the use of electrons and photons to enable unprecedented views of surface plasmons in terms of combined spatial, energy, and time resolution. This review aims to provide a comparative survey of these different approaches from an experimental viewpoint by outlining their respective experimental domains of suitability and highlighting their complementary strengths and limitations as applied to plasmonics in particular.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.