JOURNAL ARTICLE

Universal scaling of plasmon coupling in metal nanostructures: extension from particle pairs to nanoshells

Prashant K Jain, Mostafa A El-Sayed
Nano Letters 2007, 7 (9): 2854-8
17676810
It has been recently shown that the strength of plasmon coupling between a pair of plasmonic metal nanoparticles falls as a function of the interparticle gap scaled by the particle size with a near-exponential decay trend that is universally independent of nanoparticle size, shape, metal type, or medium dielectric constant. In this letter, we extend this universal scaling behavior to the dielectric core-metal shell nanostructure. By using extended Mie theory simulations of silica core-metal nanoshells, we show that when the shift of the nanoshell plasmon resonance wavelength scaled by the solid nanosphere resonance wavelength is plotted against the shell thickness scaled by the core radius, nanoshells with different dimensions (radii) exhibit the same near-exponential decay. Thus, the nanoshell system becomes physically analogous to the particle-pair system, i.e., the nanoshell plasmon resonance results from the coupling of the inner shell surface (cavity) and the outer shell surface (sphere) plasmons over a separation distance essentially given by the metal shell thickness, which is consistent with the plasmon hybridization model of Prodan, Halas, and Nordlander. By using the universal scaling behavior in the nanoshell system, we propose a simple expression for predicting the dipolar plasmon resonance of a silica-gold nanoshell of given dimensions.

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