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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.


Apr 2, 2016 - Herzog Lab members honored by NSF - Gabrielle Abraham, a current undergraduate member, and Jonathan Mishler, a Herzog Lab alumnus, both have been honored by the NSF. Gabrielle received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award; and Jonathan Misher was honored by the NSF GRFP with an honorable mention. Gabi and Jonathan have both worked hard and have truly earned this recognition. Now a total of three Herzog Lab members have been honored by the NSF since the Herzog Lab was established less than 3 years ago, with Stephen Bauman recieving honors last year. Read more: NSF press release.

Mar 18, 2016 - Pijush and Desalegn present work at APS - Pijush and Desalegn represent Herzog Lab at APS March Meeting 2016.

Baltimore, MD

Feb 17, 2016 - Herzog Lab representatives at SPIE Photonics West 2016 - A very productive and successful conference at Photonics West in San Francisco.

Dr. Herzog, Grant P. A., Gabi A., Stephen B.

Jan 6, 2016 - Group member abstracts accepted at APS March Meeting - Two graduate student and a former undergraduate will present on work completed in the Herzog Lab at the 2016 APS March Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland from March 14-18:
Desalegn Debu - Effect of Ti adhesive layer on individual gold nanodisk surface plasmon resonance
Pijush Ghosh - Plasmonic thickness variation study of gold nanostructures in ultraviolet-visible light...

Dec 16, 2015 - David French's abstract accepted at Defense + Commercial Sensing Conference - David's presentation titled Plasmonic resonance shift for various nanodevice geometries will take place on April 20, 2016 at the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing conference in Baltimore, MD.

Nov 23, 2015 - Gabi awarded SURF Grant! - Gabi's honor's thesis project has been selected for the Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Title of research project is Optical Characterization and Enhancement of Photoluminescent Nanoscale Semiconductors.

Nov 7, 2015 - Gabi wins first place award! - Congrats to Gabi on her hard work in research and preparing for the oral presentation! This is the second year in a row an undergraduate from Dr. Herzog's lab has won first place at INBRE for Physics.

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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