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Nano Lett. 2013;13(12):5873-9. doi: 10.1021/nl402662e. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Quantum plasmonics: optical properties of a nanomatryushka.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, MS 61, Rice University , Houston, Texas 77005, United States.


Quantum mechanical effects can significantly reduce the plasmon-induced field enhancements around nanoparticles. Here we present a quantum mechanical investigation of the plasmon resonances in a nanomatryushka, which is a concentric core-shell nanoparticle consisting of a solid metallic core encapsulated in a thin metallic shell. We compute the optical response using the time-dependent density functional theory and compare the results with predictions based on the classical electromagnetic theory. We find strong quantum mechanical effects for core-shell spacings below 5 Å, a regime where both the absorption cross section and the local field enhancements differ significantly from the classical predictions. We also show that the workfunction of the metal is a crucial parameter determining the onset and magnitude of quantum effects. For metals with lower workfunctions such as aluminum, the quantum effects are found to be significantly more pronounced than for a noble metal such as gold.

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