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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.


October 15, 2014 - Invited Undergraduate talk and other upcoming group presentations - Avery Hill has been invited to give a talk on his latest research, congrats! In addition to this presentation, other group member will be presenting at upcoming events:
     Arkansas INBRE Research Conference (Nov 7-8), presenters:
            - Dr. J. B. Herzog, Invited Faculty Talk
            - A. Hill, Invited Undergraduate Presentation
            - J. Mishler       - S. Bauman       - D. Debu            - S. Sarollahi.
      From Abstract to Contract (Nov 14), presenters:
            - S. Bauman
            - D. Debu
            - S. Sarollahi

October 2, 2014 - SPIE student chapter formed: Arkansas Laserbacks! - We have had our first meeting and have been awarded an activity grant from SPIE. If you would like to join the group, contact the student chapter president, Avery Hill (amh029).

October 1, 2014 - Upcoming invited talks - J. B. Herzog has been invited to present his latest research at two events next month:
Nov 7 - Arkansas INBRE Research Conference,, Fayetteville, AR.
Nov 12 - LI/LA-SiGMA Seminar Series, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA.

             Herzog Invited AR/LA Boot Tour, November 2014!

September 16, 2014 - Student SPIE articles published online -
Hill et al., Computational electromagnetic analysis of plasmonic effects in interdigital photodetectors,
- Proc. SPIE 9163, (2014) doi:10.1117/12.2074251
Bauman et al., Optical nanogap matrices for plasmonic enhancement applications,
- Proc. SPIE 9163, (2014) doi:10.1117/12.2061899
Mishler et al., Diatom frustule photonic crystal geometric and optical characterization,
- Proc. SPIE 9171, (2014) doi:10.1117/12.2062287

September 8, 2014 - Avery, Stephen, and Jonathan honored for Newport Research Excellence Awards - Members of the Herzog Lab (Avery, Stephen, and Jonathan) were honored at SPIE Optics + Photonics international conference in San Diego for being selected for the Newport Research Excellence Awards. UoA Newswire article about the event is here

Newport Research Excellence Award Recipients with SPIE president and Newport Vice-President

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.

Department of Physics  |  226 Physics Building  |  825 West Dickson Street  |  Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 575-2506  |  Fax: (479) 575-4580  |  email:
Last Update: Fall 2013