Hover to reveal the location on the map
Image Credit: Transforming the Flagship, The University of Arkansas, 13-181 (2014)

Plasmons can be thought of as waves of electrons in a metal surface. More specifically, plasmons are charge density oscillations in a metal or other conductive materials. A light incident on a metal surface can generate plasmons similar to how wind incident on water can generate waves. Light can create plasmons, and the oscillating charges of plasmons can also generate light. The plasmonic-optical interactions give rise to interesting physics at the nanoscale. See also: What is a Plasmon?

Nano-optics or nanophotonics is the study of light on the nanoscale. Typically visible light is limited by the diffraction limit and cannot be focused down to sizes smaller that about half the wavelength of visible light, less than hundreds of nanometers. Nano-optics deals with ways to overcome this diffraction limit in order to manipulate light at scales that are smaller than 100 nm. Plasmonics is one area of nano-optics. Plasmonic nanostructures can focus light to regions that can be less than 10 nm! Additionally, focusing light to such a small, highly-localized volume also generate extremely large optical enhancements in this nanoscale region. These enhancements can be used for applications including single molecule detectors [1], enhanced spectroscopies [2], cancer treatment [3], and more efficient solar cells [4].

See here for description of current Research Projects and Areas.


Oct 20, 2016 - Bauman presenting research at OSA conference - Stephen Bauman will presenting the latest research from the group at the OSA Frontiers in Optics Conference in Rochester, New York. If you are upstate, go see his presentation on Thursday morning at 9:30 AM.

Oct 7, 2016 - Articles now available online - Herzog group SPIE proceeding articles are now available online. Visit Herzog Group publication page for links.

Sep 21, 2016 - Publication in the news - News article about Photonics Research publication released online. Congrats to Ahmad and Stephen for their hard work!

Sep 8, 2016 - New Undergraduates join group. - Three new undergraduate join group. Ana and Nessin both joined in late July of this year, and Madison started in this lab in August. Welcome aboard!

Sep 1, 2016 - New Article! - Ahmad and Stephen's study on dual-width nanogap plasmonic gratings has been published online in Photonic Research (OSA). Congrats on their hard work!

Aug 28-31, 2016 - Group members presenting at SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference - Stephen and Ahmad will be presenting their latest work at international conference on optics and photonics. This conference has one of the largest presence of plasmonic research which 187 other talks related to plasmonics this year.

Tuesday 11:00 AM - Stephen Bauman
* Dual-width plasmonic gratings with sub-10 nm gaps for biosensor applications

Wednesday 1:20 AM - Ahmad Darweesh
* Improved optical enhancement in binary plasmonic gratings with nanogap spacing

Aug 15, 2016 - Dr. Herzog begins new appointment - Dr. Herzog officially begins his new appointment as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics! Read article about appointment

Contact Information

Principal Investigator
Joseph B. Herzog, PhD

Physics website

Office: PHYS 237
Office Phone: 5-4217
Lab Phone: 5-2007
Email: jbherzog
Lab: PHYS 245

Figure 1. Computational electromagnetic model of plasmonic structure. Adapted From A. Nusir et al. Photonics Research, Vol 3, 1 (2015).

Department of Physics  |  226 Physics Building  |  825 West Dickson Street  |  Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 575-2506  |  Fax: (479) 575-4580  |  email: