PerspectivePhysics

Molecular Plasmonics

Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 985-986
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104976

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Summary

Plasmonics is an emerging branch of photonics that uses nanostructured materials to control light on the nanometer scale. In his Perspective, Van Duyne highlights the report by Andrew and Barnes, who have made important progress toward active plasmonic devices. The authors show that by combining thin polymer films containing molecular chromophores with thin silver films, energy can be transferred efficiently over distances that are 15 to 20 times as long as those in free solution or in biomolecules. This is possible because the energy transfer is assisted by surface plasmons in the silver film.