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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.


Aug 28-31, 2016 - Group members presenting at SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference - Stephen and Ahmad will be presenting their latest work at international conference on optics and photonics. This conference has one of the largest presence of plasmonic research which 187 other talks related to plasmonics this year.

Tuesday 11:00 AM - Stephen Bauman
* Dual-width plasmonic gratings with sub-10 nm gaps for biosensor applications

Wednesday 1:20 AM - Ahmad Darweesh
* Improved optical enhancement in binary plasmonic gratings with nanogap spacing

Aug 15, 2016 - Dr. Herzog begins new appointment - Dr. Herzog officially begins his new appointment as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics!

July 26, 2016 - End of Summer Photo - Herzog Group gathers to celebrate Pijush for his defense success and to wish farewell to those members moving on.

From left: David, Ahmad, Chandler, Zach, Pijush, Stephen, Desalegn, Dr. Herzog

July 13, 2016 - New Publication - Article titled Hot Electrons in Microscale Thin-Film Schottky Barriers for Enhancing Near-Infrared Detection is now available online with IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. Authors include: Ahmad Nusir (EE), Grant P. Abbey (undergrad), Avery M. Hill (undergrad), Omar Manasreh (EE), and J. B. Herzog. Thanks everyone for all the hard work, especially Ahmad Nusir. Cheers!

July 11, 2016 - Pijush passes his Master Thesis defense! - Congrats to Pijush for working hard and passing he Master Thesis defense. Great job!

June 15, 2016 - Bauman Awarded SPIE scholarship - Stephen Bauman has been awarded the 2016 SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship. Congrats on his hard work. He has earned this.

June 2, 2016 - Dr. Herzog offered tenure-track position! - Dr. Herzog has been offered and has accepted a tenure-track position here in the Department of Physics. I am happy to be part of this department and part of the University of Arkansas; thank you for this opportunity! I look forward to my future here.

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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