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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.


August 17, 2014 - Group members attend Optics + Photonics Conference - Group members will be attending and presenting at the SPIE Optics + Photonics Conference in San Diego, CA. Come to our presentations to see out latest research.

Herzog Lab Presentations:

- Tue 5:00pm Room 10:
- J. Mishler, Diatom frustule photonic crystal geometric and optical characterization
- Wed 8:00am Room 6B:
- S. Bauman, Optical nanogap matrices for plasmonic enhancement applications
- Wed 5:30-7:30pm Exhibit Hall B1 (Poster):
- A. Hill, Computational electromagnetic study of plasmonic effects in interdigital arrays

August 1, 2014 - Saeed joins research group - After a brief trial period, Saeed Sarollahi has joined the Herzog Lab. Saeed will be starting as a first-year graduate student in the microEP program this month, and he plans to do computational research on photonic crystal waveguides.

July 23, 2014 - Eric Novak presents research at seminar - Eric Novak, a microEP REU student who joined the lab this summer presented the results of his summer research at the end of the year seminar. Eric did excellent plasmonic research this summer, and contributed as a co-author to Stephen's SPIE paper that will be presented in August. See Video 2 to view an example of his results.

July 15, 2014 - Students awarded travel grants - Stephen Bauman, Avery Hill, and Jonathan Mishler - all who will be presenting at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in August have been awarded travel grants. Congrats on their hard work! Thank you also to the funding organizations! The grants include:
- 2014 SPIE Student Author Travel Grant sponsored by Newport Research Excellence Awards
- 2014 Graduate School Travel Grant (University of Arkansas)
- 2014 Honors College Travel Grant Award (University of Arkansas)
- 2014 SPIE Officer Travel Grant Award

June 10, 2014 - Another abstract accepted at SPIE conference - Avery's paper titled Computational electromagnetic study of plasmonic effects in interdigital arrays has been accepted and he will present in San Diego in August at SPIE Optics + Photonics.

May 19, 2014 - Summer begins with new lab members - Paul Nguyen and Eric Novak join Herzog Lab. Welcome to the group, we are glad to have you as members.

May 14, 2014 - Nanogap - Successful on first try, ~10 nm gap! Great work Stephen and Desalegn!

May 7, 2014 - End of Year Lunch! - Today the Herzog Lab went out for lunch to celebrate a successful school year.

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
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Last Update: Fall 2013