Nanoscale Plasmonic Heterostructures
15 Dec 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gary P. Wiederrecht
Surface plasmons are electromagnetic modes that are present at the interface of a metal and dielectric material.
Depending upon the structure of the metal, surface plasmons demonstrate a wide range of characteristics, such
as optical field enhancements, tunable resonances, and the ability to propagate in films or be confined at
nanoparticle defects. As a result, surface plasmons continue to generate growing interest for new sensor
technologies, energy transport, and photonics applications. In many cases, the most interesting advantages of
surface plasmons lie in the optical near-field, significantly below the diffraction limit of conventional optics in
at least one dimension. This requires novel methods for imaging the spatial profile and propagation properties
of surface plasmons, as well as novel spectroscopies for studying photochemistry of heterostructured materials
in the near-field. In this talk, recent efforts in our group for the imaging and spectroscopy of plasmonic
heterostructures are discussed. Specific examples include plasmonic continuum spectroscopy, metal
nanoparticle photoluminescence, the use of photoresponsive polymers for near-field optical imaging, and
coherent coupling of molecular excitons to surface plasmons.