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Plasmons and Mechanical Motions at the Nano-Scale Investigated with Frequency-Domain Experiments and Simulations

Project description

Structural order in plasmonic super crystals

Plasmons are coherent delocalised electron oscillations that arise when light interacts with metallic nanoparticles. Metallic nanostructures and their ability to confine light at the nanoscale are extensively studied for their use in, for example, energy conversion devices. In particular, plasmonic super crystals (PSCs) – translationally symmetric arrays of metallic nanoparticles – can be used in augmented light-harvesting technologies such as plasmonic solar cells and photocatalysts. Yet, plasmons are fragile, short-living excitations that are highly sensitive to the exact arrangement of matter at the nanoscale. PSCs are prone to multifarious nanomechanical motions that affect their structural stability. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the aim of the PLASMMONS project is to further elucidate how nanomechanical motions affect the properties of PSCs.


Plasmons are oscillations of charge carriers in metallic nanoparticles that confine light in the nanometer length-scale. Translationally symmetric arrays of metallic nanoparticles, termed Plasmonic Super-Crystals (PSCs), can become an integral part of augmented light-harvesting technologies, like plasmonic solar cells and photocatalysts. A current limitation is that plasmons are fragile, short-living excitations, which are highly sensitive to the exact arrangement of matter at the nanoscale. The structural stability of PSCs is prone to multifarious nanomechanical motions such as nanoparticle-vibrations, colloidal phonons, and surface waves on the substrate. With this project, I aim to elucidate the role of nanomechanical motions on the plasmonic properties of PSCs. To achieve this goal I will employ White Light Absorption (WLA) to study plasmonic resonances and Brillouin Light Scattering (BLS) to study mechanical resonances. Plasmonically-enhanced BLS and spectroscopic investigation of plasmons in vibrationally-excited PSCs, will be used to reveal cross-talking between the two subsystems. A momentum-resolved view of vibrational waves will be acquired with angle-resolved BLS. The experimental results will be interpreted based on frequency-domain, finite-element simulations of plasmomechanical coupling phenomena. With this approach, I intend to adopt the concept of microscopic couplings from condensed-matter Physics, to a metamaterial and determine the fundamental excitations and interactions of these artificial structures. Understanding the interplay between plasmonic and structural degrees of freedom in PSCs is expected to pave the way for their use in plasmomechanical devices.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 149 625,60
61 712 POZNAN

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Makroregion północno-zachodni Wielkopolskie Miasto Poznań
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 149 625,60