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Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is the resonant oscillation of conduction electrons at the interface between negative and positive permittivity material stimulated by incident light. SPR is the basis of many standard tools for measuring adsorption of material onto planar metal (typically gold or silver) surfaces or onto the surface of metal nanoparticles. It is the fundamental principle behind many color-based biosensor applications, different lab-on-a-chip sensors and diatom photosynthesis.

Explanation

The surface plasmon polariton is a non-radiative electromagnetic surface wave that propagates in a direction parallel to the negative permittivity/dielectric material interface. Since the wave is on the boundary of the conductor and the external medium (air, water or vacuum for example), these oscillations are very sensitive to any change of this boundary, such as the adsorption of molecules to the conducting surface.[1]

To describe the existence and properties of surface plasmon polaritons, one can choose from various models (quantum theory, Drude model, etc.). The simplest way to approach the problem is to treat each material as a homogeneous continuum, described by a frequency-dependent relative permittivity between the external medium and the surface. This quantity, hereafter referred to as the materials' "dielectric function", is the complex permittivity. In order for the terms that describe the electronic surface plasmon to exist, the real part of the dielectric constant of the conductor must be negative and its magnitude must be greater than that of the dielectric. This condition is met in the infrared-visible wavelength region for air/metal and water/metal interfaces (where the real dielectric constant of a metal is negative and that of air or water is positive).

LSPRs (localized surface plasmon resonances) are collective electron charge oscillations in metallic nanoparticles that are excited by light. They exhibit enhanced near-field amplitude at the resonance wavelength. This field is highly localized at the nanoparticle and decays rapidly away from the nanoparticle/dieletric interface into the dielectric background, though far-field scattering by the particle is also enhanced by the resonance. Light intensity enhancement is a very important aspect of LSPRs and localization means the LSPR has very high spatial resolution (subwavelength), limited only by the size of nanoparticles. Because of the enhanced field amplitude, effects that depend on the amplitude such as magneto-optical effect are also enhanced by LSPRs.[2][3]

Implementations

Otto configuration
The surface plasmon polariton is a non-radiative electromagnetic surface wave that propagates in a direction parallel to the negative permittivity/dielectric material interface. Since the wave is on the boundary of the conductor and the external medium (air, water or vacuum for example), these oscillations are very sensitive to any change of this boundary, such as the adsorption of molecules to the conducting surface.[1]

To describe the existence and properties of surface plasmon polaritons, one can choose from various models (quantum theory, Drude model, etc.). The simplest way to approach the problem is to treat each material as a homogeneous continuum, described by a frequency-dependent relative permittivity between the external medium and the surface. This quantity, hereafter referred to as the materials' "dielectric function", is the complex permittivity. In order for the terms that describe the electronic surface plasmon to exist, the real part of the dielectric constant of the conductor must be negative and its magnitude must be greater than that of the dielectric. This condition is met in the infrared-visible wavelength region for air/metal and water/metal interfaces (where the real dielectric constant of a metal is negative and that of air or water is positive).

LSPRs (localized surface plasmon resonances) are collective electron charge oscillations in metallic nanoparticles that are excited by light. They exhibit enhanced near-field amplitude at the resonance wavelength. This field is highly localized at the nanoparticle and decays rapidly away from the nanoparticle/dieletric interface into the dielectric background, though far-field scattering by the particle is also enhanced by the resonance. Light intensity enhancement is a very important aspect of LSPRs and localization means the LSPR has very high spatial resolution (subwavelength), limited only by the size of nanoparticles. Because of the enhanced field amplitude, effects that depend on the amplitude such as magneto-optical effect are also enhanced by LSPRs.[2][3]

Implementations

Drude model, etc.). The simplest way to approach the problem is to treat each material as a homogeneous continuum, described by a frequency-dependent relative permittivity between the external medium and the surface. This quantity, hereafter referred to as the materials' "dielectric function", is the complex permittivity. In order for the terms that describe the electronic surface plasmon to exist, the real part of the dielectric constant of the conductor must be negative and its magnitude must be greater than that of the dielectric. This condition is met in the infrared-visible wavelength region for air/metal and water/metal interfaces (where the real dielectric constant of a metal is negative and that of air or water is positive).

LSPRs (localized surface plasmon resonances) are collective electron charge oscillations in metallic nanoparticles that are excited by light. They exhibit enhanced near-field amplitude at the resonance wavelength. This field is highly localized at the nanoparticle and decays rapidly away from the nanoparticle/dieletric interface into the dielectric background, though far-field scattering by the particle is also enhanced by the resonance. Light intensity enhancement is a very important aspect of LSPRs and localization means the LSPR has very high spatial resolution (subwavelength), limited only by the size of nanoparticles. Because of the enhanced field amplitude, effects that depend on the amplitude such as magneto-optical effect are also enhanced by LSPRs.[2][3]

In order to excite surface plasmon polaritons in a resonant manner, one can use electron bombardment or incident light beam (visible and infrared are typical). The incoming beam has to match its momentum to that of the plasmon.[4] In the case of p-polarized light (polarization occurs parallel to the plane of incidence), this is possible by passing the light through a block of glass to increase the wavenumber (and the momentum), and achieve the resonance at a given wavelength and angle. S-polarized light (polarization occurs perpendicular to the plane of incidence) cannot excite electronic surface plasmons. Electronic and magnetic surface plasmons obey the following dispersion relation: