Journal article

Quantum mechanical effects in plasmonic structures with subnanometre gaps

Wenqi Zhu, Ruben Esteban, Andrei G Borisov, Jeremy J Baumberg, Peter Nordlander, Henri J Lezec, Javier Aizpurua, Kenneth B Crozier



Metallic structures with nanogap features have proven highly effective as building blocks for plasmonic systems, as they can provide a wide tuning range of operating frequencies and large near-field enhancements. Recent work has shown that quantum mechanical effects such as electron tunnelling and nonlocal screening become important as the gap distances approach the subnanometre length-scale. Such quantum effects challenge the classical picture of nanogap plasmons and have stimulated a number of theoretical and experimental studies. This review outlines the findings of many groups into quantum mechanical effects in nanogap plasmons, and discusses outstanding challenges and future directions.

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by University of Maryland

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

Awarded by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Awarded by UK EPSRC

Awarded by ERC

Awarded by Robert A. Welch foundation

Awarded by Air Force Office of Science and Research

Awarded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank A. Agrawal, A.K. Kazansky, A. Liddle, D.C. Marinica, R. McMichael, D. Sanchez-Portal, V. Silkin and C. Zhao for discussions. W.Z. acknowledges support under the Cooperative Research Agreement between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, award no. 70NANB10H193, through the University of Maryland. K.B.C. acknowledges funding from the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects (project number DP150103736) and Future Fellowship (project number FT140100577) funding schemes and from the Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation (VESKI). R.E. acknowledges the Fellow Gipuzkoa of the Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia through FEDER funds of the European Union 'Una manera de hacer Europa'. R.E. and J.A. acknowledge Project FIS2013-41184-P of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and federal grant 70NANB15H321 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A.G.B. acknowledges warm hospitality of Donostia International Physics Center. J.J.B. acknowledges support from UK EPSRC grants EP/G060649/1, EP/L027151/1, EP/G037221/1, EPSRC NanoDTC and ERC grant LINASS 320503. P.N. acknowledges support from the Robert A. Welch foundation under grant C-1222 and the Air Force Office of Science and Research under grant FA9550-15-1-0022.