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Opt Express. 2006 Mar 6;14(5):1957-64.

Plasmonic field enhancement and SERS in the effective mode volume picture.


The controlled creation of nanometric electromagnetic field confinement via surface plasmon polariton excitations in metal/insulator/metal heterostructures is described via the concept of an effective electromagnetic mode volume Veff. Extensively used for the description of dielectric microcavities, its extension to plasmonics provides a convenient figure of merit and allows comparisons with dielectric counterparts. Using a one-dimensional analytical model and three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations, it is shown that plasmonic cavities with nanometric dielectric gaps indeed allow for physical as well as effective mode volumes well below the diffraction limit in the gap material, despite significant energy penetration into the metal. In this picture, matter-plasmon interactions can be quantified in terms of quality factor Q and Veff, enabling a resonant cavity description of surface enhanced Raman scattering.

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