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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 13 — Jun. 18, 2012
  • pp: 14656–14662

Plasmonic hot spots: nanogap enhancement vs. focusing effects from surrounding nanoparticles

Prathamesh Pavaskar, Jesse Theiss, and Stephen B. Cronin  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 13, pp. 14656-14662 (2012)

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Thin Au films (~5nm) are known to form island-like structures with small gaps between the islands, which produce intense electric field “hot spots” under visible illumination. In this work, we perform finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations based on experimentally observed high resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) images of these films in order to study the nature of the “hot spots” in more detail. Specifically, we study the dependence of the electric field intensity in the hot spots on the surrounding film environment and on the size of the nanogaps. From our simulations, we show that the surrounding film contributes significantly to the electric field intensity at the hot spot by focusing energy to it. Widening of the gap size causes a decrease in the intensity at the hot spot. However, these island-like nanoparticle hot spots are far less sensitive to gap size than nanoparticle dimer geometries, studied previously. In fact, the main factor in determining the hot spot intensity is the focusing effect of the surrounding nano-islands. We show that these random Au island films outperform more sophisticated geometries of spherical nanoparticle clusters that have been optimized using an iterative optimization algorithm.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(260.3910) Physical optics : Metal optics

ToC Category:
Optics at Surfaces

Original Manuscript: April 27, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 30, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 31, 2012
Published: June 15, 2012

Prathamesh Pavaskar, Jesse Theiss, and Stephen B. Cronin, "Plasmonic hot spots: nanogap enhancement vs. focusing effects from surrounding nanoparticles," Opt. Express 20, 14656-14662 (2012)

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