Project title: Computational multi-scale investigation of nonlocal effects in superfocusing.

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Horsfield and Prof Stefan Maier                 

Project description:

Superfocusing occurs when surface polaritons allow electromagnetic radiation to be concentrated into a region smaller than its wavelength. A number of devices have been suggested that can achieve this. Here we concentrate on a sharp conical metal tip, which has a dimension of about 10 nm [1]. We will investigate the dependence of the focusing on radiation wavelength, polarization, and the materials properties of the tip. Possible applications to chemical sensing will be considered.

[1] “Near-Field Localization in Plasmonic Superfocusing: A Nanoemitter on a Tip”, Neacsu et al, Nano Lett 10 592-596 (2010).

Research highlights:

  • Talk at the Plasmonics and Metamaterials seminar meeting: “Plasmonic properties of nanoparticles at liquid-liquid interfaces” (The Blackett Laboratory, December 2010)
  • Co-organiser of: Hermes 2012, an international summer school for multiscale materials simulation and science coommunication (2011-2012)
  • Stand at the Big Bang Science Festival (11 March 2011)
  • Co-organiser of: “Strut our science - fashion show & exhibition with a science twist” (Imperial College Business School, 7 March 2011 - 11 March 2011)
  • Talk at the Plasmonics and Metamaterials seminar meeting: “Non-local electromagnetics”, (The Blackett Laboratory, October 2011)
  • Talk at the Plasmonics and Metamaterials seminar meeting: “Plasmonic sinks: a tool for the selective removal of long-lived states” (The Blackett Laboratory, November 2011)


  • Electron-Energy Loss Study of Nonlocal Effects in Connected Plasmonic Nanoprisms
    Wiener, A.; Duan, H.; Bosman, M.; Pendry, J.B.; Horsfield, A.P.; Yang, J.K.W.; Maier, S.A.; Fernandez-Dominguez, A.I. 
    ACS Nano, 2013, DOI:10.1021/nn402323t
  • Nonlocal Effects in the Nanofocusing Performance of Plasmonic Tips
    Wiener, A.; Fernández-Domínguez, A. I.; Horsfield, A. P.; Pendry, J. B.; Maier, S. A. 
    Nano Letters, 2012, 12 (6), pp 3308–3314, DOI: 10.1021/nl301478n
  •  Transformation-Optics Description of Nonlocal Effects in Plasmonic Nanostructures
    Fernández-Domínguez, A. I.; Wiener, A.; García-Vidal, F. J.; Maier, S. A.; Pendry, J. B. 
    Phys. Rev. Lett., 2012, 108, 106802, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.106802
  • Plasmonic Sinks for the Selective Removal of Long-Lived States
    Kéna-Cohen, S.; Wiener, A.; Sivan, Y; Stavrinou, P. N.; Bradley, D. D. C.; Horsfield, A. P.; Maier, S. A. 
    ACS Nano, 2011, 5 (12), pp 9958–9965), DOI:10.1021/nn203754v
  • Rapid Ultrasensitive Single Particle Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Using Metallic Nanopores
    Cecchini, M. P.; Wiener, A.; Turek, V. A.; Chon, H.; Lee, S.; Ivanov, A.P.; McComb, D.W.; Choo, J.; Albrecht, T.; Maier, S.A.;  Edel, J.B.
    Nano Lett., DOI 10.1021/nl402108g (2013)
  • Surface Plasmons and Nonlocality: A Simple Model.
    Luo, Y.; Fernandez-Dominguez, A. I.; Wiener, A.;  Maier, S.A.;  Pendry, J. B.
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 093901 (2013)
  • Theory of Three-Dimensional Nanocrescent Light Harvesters. 
    A. I. Fernández-Domínguez, Y. Luo , A. Wiener , J. B. Pendry , and S. A. Maier
    Maier. Nano Lett., 2012, 12 (11), pp 5946–5953. DOI: 10.1021/nl303377g