Brongersma, Mark L. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Kik, Pieter G. College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.
- Bulk and surface plasmons
- History of plasmon research
- Optical excitation of surface plasmons
- Applications of surface plasmons
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The quanta of waves produced by collective effects of large numbers of electrons in matter when the electrons are disturbed from equilibrium. Plasmon excitations are easily detected in metals because they have a high density of electrons that are free to move. The result of plasmon stimulation by energetic electrons is seen in Fig. 1. The graph shows the probability of energy losses by fast electrons transmitted through a thin aluminum foil. The number of detected electrons in a beam is plotted against the energy loss during transit through the foil. Each energy-loss peak corresponds to excitation of one or more plasmons. Within experimental error, the peaks occur at integral multiples of a fundamental loss quantum.
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