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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.


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:
J. Mishler - Finite Difference Frequency Domain (FDFD) Band Structure Calculations of Diatom...
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.

Nov 6, 2015 - We have Raman! - Our Raman spectroscopy is now fully operational. These initial results of bulk Silicon are the first step for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Funding from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute has sponsored a SERS project for biological sensing applications. We are on track with the project timeline. Thanks to Stephen and David for the work aligning and completing this setup.

Oct 13, 2015 - Group member abstracts accepted for Photonics West - Three abstracts from the Herzog Lab have been accepted for presentations at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco which will take place in Feb 2016:
+ G. Abraham et al. - Tue, Feb 16, 11:10 AM
  - Plasmonically-enhanced photoluminescence of two-dimensional MoS2
+ S. J. Bauman et al. - Wed, Feb 17, 6:00 PM
  - Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy substrate fabricated via nanomasking technique
+ G. P. Abbey et al. - Wed, Feb 17, 6:00 PM
  - Structural characteristics of Au-GaAs nanostructures for increased plasmonic optical enhancement

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.

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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