Houston, TX 77005
10:00 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013
On Campus | Alumni
Plasmonic properties and the related novel applications are studied on various types of metallic nano-structures in one, two, or three dimensions. For 1D nanostructure, the motion of free electrons in a metal-film with nanoscale thickness is confined in its normal dimension and free in the other two. Describing the free-electron motion at metal-dielectric surfaces, surface plasmon polariton (SPP) is an elementary excitation of such motions and is well known. When further perforated with periodic array of holes, periodicity will introduce degeneracy, incur energy-level splitting, and facilitate the coupling between free-space photon and SPP. We applied this concept to achieve a plasmonic perfect absorber. The experimentally observed reflection dip splitting is qualitatively explained by a perturbation theory based on the above concept. If confined in 2D, the nanostructures become nanowires that intrigue a broad range of research interests. We performed various studies on the resonance and propagation of metal nanowires with different materials, cross-sectional shapes and form factors, in passive or active medium, in support of corresponding experimental works. Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) simulations show that simulated results agrees well with experiments and makes fundamental mode analysis possible. Confined in 3D, the electron motions in a single metal nanoparticle (NP) leads to localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) that enables another novel and important application: plasmon-heating. By exciting the LSPR of a gold particle embedded in liquid, the excited plasmon will decay into heat in the particle and will heat up the surrounding liquid eventually. With sufficient exciting optical intensity, the heat transfer from NP to liquid will undergo an explosive process and make a vapor envelop: nanobubble. We characterized the size, pressure and temperature of the nanobubble by a simple model relying on Mie calculations and continuous medium assumption. A novel effective medium method is also developed to replace the role of Mie calculations. The characterized temperature is in excellent agreement with that by Raman scattering. If fabricated in an ordered cluster, NPs exhibit double-resonance features and the double Fano-resonant structure is demonstrated to most enhance the four-wave mixing efficiency.