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Opt Express. 2007 Oct 17;15(21):14129-45.

Plasmonic nanoclusters: a path towards negative-index metafluids.


We introduce the concept of metafluids-liquid metamaterials based on clusters of metallic nanoparticles which we will term Artificial Plasmonic Molecules (APMs). APMs comprising four nanoparticles in a tetrahedral arrangement have isotropic electric and magnetic responses and are analyzed using the plasmon hybridization (PH) method, an electrostatic eigenvalue equation, and vectorial finite element frequency domain (FEFD) electromagnetic simulations. With the aid of group theory, we identify the resonances that provide the strongest electric and magnetic response and study them as a function of separation between spherical nanoparticles. It is demonstrated that a colloidal solution of plasmonic tetrahedral nanoclusters can act as an optical medium with very large, small, or even negative effective permittivity, epsilon(eff), and substantial effective magnetic susceptibility, Chi(eff) = mu(eff) -1, in the visible or near infrared bands. We suggest paths for increasing the magnetic response, decreasing the damping, and developing a metafluid with simultaneously negative epsilon(eff) and mu(eff).

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