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CeNS Colloquium

Place: Kleiner Physik-Hörsaal, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz
Date: 10.12.10, Time: 15:30 h

Plasmonics: Opening Up New Vistas on Sub-Diffraction Limited Optics

Dr. Dominic Zerulla
School of Physics, UCD Science Centre, Dublin


Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPPs) offer unique opportunities for the control and manipulation of light on length scales below the diffraction limit of free space light and on ultrashort timescales.
Surface Plasmon-Polaritons (SPPs) are electromagnetic surface waves confined to the interface of two materials with dielectric functions of opposite signs, i.e. metal and dielectric. They typically occur as a result of a resonant interaction between an illuminating electromagnetic wave, and collective local surface electron density oscillations (known as surface plasmons - SPs) of the free electrons of the conductor. Recent studies include the coupling of plasmons to optical emitters; plasmon focusing; nanoscale waveguiding; nanoscale optical antennas; molecular sensing; actively tuneable plasmonics; plasmonic lasers; surface-plasmon-enhanced light-emitting diodes; imaging below the diffraction limit and metamaterials.
The talk primarily focuses on plasmonic light confinement, magneto-optical effects and generation and propagation of ultrafast plasmonic pulses.
Although, most of the recent research is primarily based on the fact that SPs couple to light in a manner that allows for an extremely localized control of the coupled light, thus granting access to sub-diffraction limited optical processes, while maintaining optical frequencies, it is interesting to consider the temporal aspects of SPPs. While vast experimental and theoretical research has been carried out working toward the goal of nanoscale confinement and manipulation of SPP characteristics, research on the temporal character of SPPs is at its infancy. However, SPPs offer temporal processes ranging from evolution times on the hundreds of attoseconds, to dephasing times on the 10's to 100's of femtoseconds. On this basis, ultrafast applications can be envisaged.