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Opt Express. 2009 Mar 2;17(5):3835-47.

Optical performance and metallic absorption in nanoplasmonic systems.

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Institute for Nanoscale Technology, Department of Physics and Applied Materials, University of Technology Sydney,PO Box 123 Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia.


Optical metrics relating to metallic absorption in representative plasmonic systems are surveyed, with a view to developing heuristics for optimizing performance over a range of applications. We use the real part of the permittivity as the independent variable; consider strengths of particle resonances, resolving power of planar lenses, and guiding lengths of planar waveguides; and compare nearly-free-electron metals including Al, Cu, Ag, Au, Li, Na, and K. Whilst the imaginary part of metal permittivity has a strong damping effect, field distribution is equally important and thus factors including geometry, real permittivity and frequency must be considered when selecting a metal. Al performs well at low permittivities (e.g. sphere resonances, superlenses) whereas Au & Ag only perform well at very negative permittivities (shell and rod resonances, LRSPP). The alkali metals perform well overall but present engineering challenges.


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