PerspectiveApplied Physics

The Case for Plasmonics

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Science  23 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5977, pp. 440-441
DOI: 10.1126/science.1186905

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Just over a decade ago, the term “plasmonics” was coined for a promising new device technology that aims to exploit the unique optical properties of metallic nanostructures to enable routing and active manipulation of light at the nanoscale (1). At the same time, it was already well established that tiny metallic particles have a number of valuable optical properties that are derived from their ability to support collective light-induced electronic excitations, known as surface plasmons. Most notably, nanostructured metals dramatically alter the way light scatters from molecules, and this later led to the development of an important optical spectroscopy technique called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (24).