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The gap-plasmon resonance of a gold nanoparticle inside a nanopore in an aluminum film is investigated in polarization dependent single particle microscopy and spectroscopy. Scattering and transmission measurements reveal that gap-plasmons of this structure can be excited and observed under normal incidence excitation and collection, in contrast to the more common particle-on-a-mirror structure. Correlation of numerical simulations with optical spectroscopy suggests that a local electric field enhancement factor in excess of 50 is achieved under normal incidence excitation, with a hot-spot located near the top surface of the structure. It is shown that the strong field enhancement from this sidewall gap-plasmon mode can be efficiently excited over a broad angular range. The presented plasmonic structure lends itself to implementation in low-cost, chemically stable, easily addressable biochemical sensor arrays providing large optical field enhancement factors.


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