PerspectiveApplied Physics

Molecular Tuning of Quantum Plasmon Resonances

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Science  28 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6178, pp. 1444-1445
DOI: 10.1126/science.1252245

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Metallic nanoparticles exhibit plasmon resonances, which are collective, coherent oscillations of their conduction electrons that can couple very efficiently to light. Originally a subfield of condensed-matter physics, the past decade has seen tremendous growth of plasmonics as an interdisciplinary field spanning chemistry, materials science, and biology. On page 1496 of this issue, Tan et al. (1) discuss an experiment that will almost certainly further fuel this growth—the coupling of plasmon excitations to molecular conduction. The merging of plasmonics with molecular electronics promises both novel fundamental discoveries and new applications.