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Physics and Astronomy
Completed Project

Circuit Model for Plasmonic Interactions: A Correction to Achieve the Quantum Tunneling

Jacob Stuligross ’22 and Professor Juan M. Merlo-Ramirez (Physics and Astronomy)

Plasmonic nanoparticles are small metal particles, usually with diameters from tens to hundreds of nanometers. They have unique properties having to do with their absorption of light in the visible or UV range which has applications in medicine and in light-speed information processing with metatronics. As light interacts with the nanoparticles, the distribution of charge varies, and the response of the particle can be modelled as a lumped-element circuit. This model is well understood for single nanoparticles larger than 20nm, and for sets of nanoparticles if the gaps between them are larger than 3nm, but as they get small or close together, quantum effects are no longer negligible, and the circuit model fails. In this project, we sought to adapt the circuit model (a classical model) to predict these quantum effects. We focused on small nanoparticles, rather than coupled nanoparticles, and have defined a new circuit to model the quantum effects. This new circuit fits experimental data to the extent of having the proper resonance frequencies and Q-factors. However, more research is needed to determine if the parameters in these circuits have appropriate values for the physical situation.