Surface plasmon coupling and its universal size scaling in metal nanostructures of complex geometry: Elongated particle pairs and nanosphere trimers

Prashant K. Jain, Mostafa A. El-Sayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recently, we showed that the plasmon resonance coupling between two interacting metal nanoparticles decays with the interparticle separation (in units of particle size) with the same universal trend independent of particle size or shape, metal type, or medium. This universal scaling behavior has been shown to apply to lithographically fabricated nanoparticle pairs, the metal nanoshell, plasmonic dielectric sensors, and the plasmon ruler useful in determining intersite distances in biological systems. In this article, we use electrodynamic simulations to examine the general applicability of this universal scaling behavior to more complex nanostructure geometries, for example, head-to-tail dimers of elongated particles of different aspect ratios and curvatures and a trimer of nanospheres. We find that the plasmon coupling between two elongated nanoparticles interacting head-to-tail decays according to the same universal law if the interparticle separation is scaled by the particle long-axis dimension. The absolute plasmon coupling strength, however, depends on the particle shape (i.e., aspect ratio and curvature), without affecting the universal scaling behavior. We also show that universal scaling is valid in a system of three interacting nanospheres, a first step toward extending this model to chains/arrays/assemblies of metal nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4954-4960
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 3 2008
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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