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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.


May 9, 2017 - New Article Published in PLOS ONE - Pijush Ghosh, Desalegn Debu, and David French have each worked hard to get out their recent article titled Calculated thickness dependent plasmonic properties of gold nanobars in the visible to near-infrared light regime. This paper was accepted and published in PLOS ONE. Congrats to the students on their hard work and interesting results. See newswire article about this here.

Pijush, Desalegn, and David


Apr 13, 2017 - New Lab Space Available - The Herzog Lab will soon be moving to PHYS 106. This space is now available for the group to begin preparation for the new lab location. The first phase of preparation includes finishing the ceiling, electrical work, optical table shelf construction, and laser curtain installation. After this work is finished, we will complete the move into the new space.


Apr 12, 2017 - Herzog receives Endowed Connor Faculty Fellowship - Dr. Herzog has been awarded the Robert C. and Sandra Connor Endowed Faculty Fellowship Award presented by the Office of the Dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. The award is given to faculty who have made excellent contributions to the college and their departments and helps to retain faculty members who are setting new standards of teaching, research and service at the University of Arkansas. Much thanks to the Connors for their generous support of the University. Read more here.


Mar 29, 2017 - Group publishes new article first-authored by undergraduate Zach - Group members Zach Brawley, Stephen Bauman, Ahmad Darweesh, and Grant Abbey have recently published their work on plasmonic enhancement in GaAs photodetectors titled Modeling and optimization of Au-GaAs plasmonic nanoslit array structures for enhanced near-infrared photodetector applications. Zach is an undergraduate senior at UCA and was an NSF REU with Dr. Herzog in the summer of 2016 through the Department of Physics. The article was recently published in the Journal of Nanophotonics and is now available online. Zach also recently received an award at the APS march meeting for his presentation he gave there on this work.

J. Nanophoton. 11(1), 016017 (2017).


Contact Information

Principal Investigator
Joseph B. Herzog, PhD

Physics website

Office: PHYS 229
Office Phone: 5-4909
Lab Phone: 5-2007
Email: jbherzog
Lab: PHYS 245 and 131 (until Fall 2017)
New Lab: PHYS 106 (starting Fall 2017)

Figure 1. Computational electromagnetic model of plasmonic structure. Adapted From A. Nusir et al. Photonics Research, Vol 3, 1 (2015).

Department of Physics  |  226 Physics Building  |  825 West Dickson Street  |  Fayetteville, AR 72701
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