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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 19;110(12):4494-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217931110. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Highly tunable propagating surface plasmons on supported silver nanowires.

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  • 1Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


Surface plasmons, the quanta of the collective oscillations of free electrons at metal surface, can be easily tuned by changing the surrounding dielectric materials, which is well known for metal nanoparticles and metal surfaces, but less is known for one-dimensional metal nanowires. Here, we find an extremely large tunability of surface plasmons on Ag nanowires with a beat period of the near-field distribution pattern increasing by 90 nm per nanometer of Al2O3 coating, or by 16 µm per refractive index unit change in the surrounding medium. Such high sensitivity is crucial to directly control the optical signal distribution for various routing and demultiplexing functions in plasmonic circuits and may pave the way to the development of on-chip ultrasensitive biosensing.

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