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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.


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.

August 13, 2015 - Cameron's article accepted for publication! - Cameron's manuscript titled Investigation of maximum optical enhancement in single gold nanowires and triple nanowire arrays has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nanophotonics (JNP). The results in this work were part of Cameron's undergraduate honors thesis and part of Eric Novak's summer REU work. Physics Graduate student Desalegn is also one of the co-authors of this work. Article is now in press, and a link to the article will be posted here once it becomes available. Congrats to the students for their hard work!

August 11, 2015 - Herzog Group at SPIE Optics and Photonics 2015 - Three Herzog Group members presented at the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, CA. Student Chapter officers also attended the Leadership Workshop.

From Left to Right: Gabi, Stephen, Saeed, and Dr. Herzog.

July 24, 2015 - End of Summer REU - Another successful summer of REUs has come to an end. It was great having Grant in Gabi around this summer and I look forward to future collaborations with them.

From Left to Right: Pijush, Saeed, Grant (REU), Ahmad, Stephen, Gabi (REU), Dr. Herzog.

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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