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Nat Commun. 2016 Jun 3;7:11495. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11495.

Quantum mechanical effects in plasmonic structures with subnanometre gaps.

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Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA.
Maryland Nano-Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
Material Physics Center CSIC-UPV/EHU and Donostia International Physics Center DIPC, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 5, Donostia-San Sebastián 20018, Spain.
Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay - UMR 8214, CNRS-Université Paris Sud, Bâtiment 351, Orsay 91405, France.
Nanophotonics Centre, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK.
Department of Physics, MS61, Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.
School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


Metallic structures with nanogap features have proven highly effective as building blocks for plasmonic systems, as they can provide a wide tuning range of operating frequencies and large near-field enhancements. Recent work has shown that quantum mechanical effects such as electron tunnelling and nonlocal screening become important as the gap distances approach the subnanometre length-scale. Such quantum effects challenge the classical picture of nanogap plasmons and have stimulated a number of theoretical and experimental studies. This review outlines the findings of many groups into quantum mechanical effects in nanogap plasmons, and discusses outstanding challenges and future directions.

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