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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.


August 28, 2015 - News article about Herzog's ABI grant - The University of Arkansas's Newswire published a press release about the Arkansas Biosciences Institute grant Awardees. See article here: Arkansas Biosciences Institute Awards $1.58 Million in Grants to U of A Researchers.

August 13, 2015 - Cameron's article accepted for publication! - Cameron's manuscript titled Investigation of maximum optical enhancement in single gold nanowires and triple nanowire arrays has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nanophotonics (JNP). The results in this work were part of Cameron's undergraduate honors thesis and part of Eric Novak's summer REU work. Physics Graduate student Desalegn is also one of the co-authors of this work. Article is now in press, and a link to the article will be posted here once it becomes available. Congrats to the students for their hard work!

August 11, 2015 - Herzog Group at SPIE Optics and Photonics 2015 - Three Herzog Group members presented at the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, CA. Student Chapter officers also attended the Leadership Workshop.

From Left to Right: Gabi, Stephen, Saeed, and Dr. Herzog.

July 24, 2015 - End of Summer REU - Another successful summer of REUs has come to an end. It was great having Grant in Gabi around this summer and I look forward to future collaborations with them.

From Left to Right: Pijush, Saeed, Grant (REU), Ahmad, Stephen, Gabi (REU), Dr. Herzog.

July 23, 2015 - Bauman's recent publication available online - Stephen's recent publication titled Fabrication of sub-lithography-limited structures via Nanomasking technique for plasmonic enhancement applications is now available online as a proof in IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology.

July 7, 2015 - Bauman awarded SPIE scholarship - Congrats to Stephen Bauman who has been awarded the 2015 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship from SPIE. Here is SPIE press release, and here is a link to the University of Arkansas Newswire article.

June 23, 2015 - Herzog awarded ABI grant - Dr. Herzog's proposal titled Large-area production of plasmonic nanostructures for enhanced biomedical spectroscopic sensors has been awarded a grant funded by the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, the major research component of the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000.

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).

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