The transverse photo-induced voltages generated by the photon drag effect under normally and obliquely incident circularly polarized light across the plasmonic symmetry-breaking isosceles-triangle holes and right-triangle holes have been characterized. It is observed that the sign of transverse photovoltage flips when the incident circular polarization is switched for both types of plasmonic triangle holes. However, the unbalanced photovoltage between two circular polarizations is achieved across the plasmonic right-triangle holes, compared to the balanced photovoltage in the plasmonic isosceles-triangle holes. Such manipulation of the sign and the amplitude of transverse photovoltage is enabled by the broken symmetries of the electric and magnetic field patterns supported in the asymmetric triangle holes due to the interplay between the light helicity of circular polarization and the shape symmetries of triangle holes, together with the incident angle. These results will create opportunities for many applications relevant to nonlinear optics, photodetection, and chiral sensing.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


The authors acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ECCS-1653032 and DMR-1552871 and the Office of Naval Research under Grant No. N00014-16-1-2408.

Keywords and Phrases

Circular polarization; Light; Nonlinear optics; Plasmonics, Broken symmetry; Circularly polarized light; Electric and magnetic fields; Incident angles; Photo detection; Photo-induced voltage; Photon drag effects; Symmetry-breaking, Plasmons

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0003-6951; 1077-3118

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2019 The Author(s), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2019