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Plasmonic nanostructure reshaping due to surface diffusion


A/Prof. James W. M. Chon

Project Description

Nanoplasmonics is a new class of research field in optics that utilises electron cloud oscillations in metallic nanostructures to allow strong interactions at optical frequencies. It is anticipated to bridge between Photonics and Electronics, overcoming their inherent limitations in speed and miniaturization.

Currently many plasmonic circuit elements are proposed and demonstrated. However, the stability of the plasmonic structures is under question, due to the increased surface atomic diffusions at the nanoscale [1].

In this project, we propose to design and fabricate nanoplasmonic waveguide structures and study the fundamental material properties of these plasmonic elements under operation. In particular, the surface diffusion induced instability of the structures will be studied in conjunction with the surface plasmon propagation, which involves three-dimensional simulations into shape evolution with given laser power. This project will be of importance to nanoplasmonic circuitry in general, and also to high density optical storage based on plasmonic nanoparticles, linear and nonlinear biolabelling application of plasmonic nanorods, solar cells and photovoltaics, and optical nanoantennas.

The cutting-edge electron beam lithography platform (Raith II) within the university will be utilised to fabricate the nanoplasmonic elements, and an ultrafast lasers (Spectra Physics, Broad band Ti:Sapphire Tsunami) will be used to excite surface plasmons in the structure. Finite difference time domain simulation package of plasmonic wave propagation (Lumerical package) will also be utilized, with access to supercomputers within the University.


  1. A. B. Taylor, A. M. Siddiquee and J. W. M. Chon, “Below melting point photothermal reshaping of single gold nanorods driven by surface diffusion,” ACS Nano, 8 (12), 12071-12079 (2014)
  2. A. B. Taylor, T. T. Y. Chow and J. W. M. Chon, “Alignment of gold nanorods by angular photothermal depletion,”  Appl. Phys. Lett., 104 (12), Art. No. 83118 (2014)
  3. P. Zijlstra, J. W. M. Chon, M. Gu, “White light scattering spectroscopy and electron microscopy of laser induced melting in single gold nanorods,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 11, 5915 - 5921 (2009)


A/Prof. James W. M. Chon, Tel: +61 3 9214 4326, email: