Optics, nanostructure, surface plasmon


Surface plasmons have been attracted extensive interests in recent decades due to the novel properties in nanometer sized dimensions. My work focused on the novel optical properties of metal nanostructures based on surface plasmons using theoretical simulation methods. In the first part, we investigated metal nanofilms and nanorods and demonstrated that extremely low scattering efficiency, high absorption efficiency and propagation with long distance could be obtained by different metal nanostructures. With a perforated silver film, we demonstrated that an extremely low scattering cross section with an efficiency of less than 1% can be achieved at tunable wavelengths with tunable widths. The resonance wavelength, width, and intensity are influenced by the shape, size and arrangement pattern of the holes, as well as the distance separating the holes along the polarization direction. The extremely low scattering could be used to obtain high absorption efficiency of a two-layer silver nanofilm. Using the discrete dipole approximation method, we achieved enhanced absorption efficiencies, which are close to 100%, at tunable wavelengths in a two-layer silver thin film. The film is composed of a 100 nm thick perforated layer facing the incident light and a 100 nm thick solid layer. Resonance wavelengths are determined by the distances between perforated holes in the first layer as well as the separation between two layers. The resonance wavelengths shift to red with increasing separation distance between two layers or the periodic distance of the hole arrays. Geometries of conical frustum shaped holes in the first layer are critical for the improved absorption efficiencies. When the hole bottom diameter equals the periodic distance and the upper diameter iv is about one-third of the bottom diameter, close to unit absorption efficiency can be obtained. We examined the electromagnetic wave propagation along a hollow silver nanorod with subwavelength dimensions. The calculations show that light may propagate along the hollow nanorod with growing intensities. The influences of the shape, dimension, and length of the rod on the resonance wavelength and the enhanced local electric field, |E|2 , along the rod were investigated. In the second part, a generalized electrodynamics model is proposed to describe the enhancement and quenching of fluorescence signal of a dye molecule placed near a metal nanoparticle (NP). Both the size of the Au NPs and quantum yield of the dye molecule are crucial in determining the emission intensity of the molecule. Changing the size of the metal NP will alter the ratio of the scattering and absorption efficiencies of the metal NP and consequently result in different enhancement or quenching effect to the dye molecule. A dye molecule with a reduced quantum yield indicates that the non-radiative channel is dominant in the decay of the excited dye molecules and the amplification of the radiative decay rate will be easier. In general, the emission intensity will be quenched when the size of metal NP is small and the quantum yield of dye molecule is about unity. A significant enhancement factor will be obtained when the quantum yield of the molecule is small and the particle size is large. When the quantum yield of the dye molecule is less than 10-5 , the model is simplified to the surface enhanced Raman scattering equation


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Graduation Date





Zou, Shengli


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Chemistry Commons