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.


Dec 6, 2016 - Desalegn, Pijush, and David publish article in Optical Materials Express - A project lead by Desalegn Debu titled Surface plasmon damping effects due to Ti adhesion layer in individual gold nanodisks has been published in the Optical Materials Express, a journal published by OSA. Graduate students Pijush and David were also co-authors on the publication. Great work students!

Nov 16, 2016 - Saeed, Stephen, and Jonathan published article on Photonic crystals - Work on two-dimensional photonic crystals titled Calculation of reflectivity spectra for semi-infinite two-dimensional photonic crystals has been published in the Journal of Nanophotonics. Work was lead by graduate students Saeed and Stephen, and undergraduate Jonathan Mishler also made significant contributions to the paper. Congratulations to the students on their hard work!

Oct 22, 2016 - Zach presents work at Rice University conference - Zach Brawley was selected to present his research at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by Rice University in Houston, TX. He traveled down there with Dr. Herzog.

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!

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: