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Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 Sep 4;6(10):630-4. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.146.

Graphene plasmonics for tunable terahertz metamaterials.

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Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Plasmons describe collective oscillations of electrons. They have a fundamental role in the dynamic responses of electron systems and form the basis of research into optical metamaterials. Plasmons of two-dimensional massless electrons, as present in graphene, show unusual behaviour that enables new tunable plasmonic metamaterials and, potentially, optoelectronic applications in the terahertz frequency range. Here we explore plasmon excitations in engineered graphene micro-ribbon arrays. We demonstrate that graphene plasmon resonances can be tuned over a broad terahertz frequency range by changing micro-ribbon width and in situ electrostatic doping. The ribbon width and carrier doping dependences of graphene plasmon frequency demonstrate power-law behaviour characteristic of two-dimensional massless Dirac electrons. The plasmon resonances have remarkably large oscillator strengths, resulting in prominent room-temperature optical absorption peaks. In comparison, plasmon absorption in a conventional two-dimensional electron gas was observed only at 4.2 K (refs 13, 14). The results represent a first look at light-plasmon coupling in graphene and point to potential graphene-based terahertz metamaterials.

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