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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.

Interested in joining the group? How to join my Research Group.


May 9, 2015 - French earns Masters! - David French graduates with Master's Degree. Congrats to David on this accomplishment!

May 8, 2015 - Cameron graduates with Honors - Cameron Saylor has received his Bachelor's degree and graduated with honors. He will be starting graduate school in the Fall at UC Davis.!

May 1, 2015 - Herzog Group end-of-the-year brunch - To celebrate a successful year, the Herzog lab enjoys a brunch. Thank you students for all of the hard work.

Group Members from left to right: Stephen, David, Saeed, Avery, Cameron, Gabi, Dr. Herzog

April 23, 2015 - Group members honored at Awards Ceremony - Jonathan Mishler, Stephen Bauman, and Dr. Herzog were honored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at the 2015 Annual State and National Awards Reception. Jonathan was honored for receiving his SURF fellowship. Stephen was honored for receiving an NSF GRFP honorable mention, and Dr. Herzog was honored for being their Outstanding Mentor. Picture from event is below.

Jonathan Mishler, Dr. J. B. Herzog, Stephen Bauman

April 23, 2015 - Bauman Honored by NSF - Graduate student Stephen Bauman has been honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program as an honorable mention. Congrats to Stephen for his hard work on this. (Newswire Article)

April 20, 2015 - Article accepted for publication - Paper titled Enhanced light trapping and plasmonic properties of aluminum nanorods fabricated by glancing angle deposition has been accepted for publication. This work was in collaboration with researchers in Dr. T. Karabacak's group at UALR.

April 2, 2015 - Cameron accepted into Graduate School at UC Davis - Cameron Saylor, senior in the Herzog lab has accepted an offer for the graduate program at University of California, Davis. Congrats!

March 30, 2015 - Gabi selected for NSF REU - Undergraduate group member Gabi Abraham has been selected as a National Science Foundation REU program with the University of Arkansas Department of Physics for summer 2015. Congrats!

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 nanogap array. Large optical enhancement can be seen at the nanoscale gap.

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