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I Plasmon wave size?

  1. May 30, 2016 #1

    Plasmons are waves formed by electron density fluctuations on a metallic surface. Basically once excited, they can propagate freely along a suitable metallic-dielectric surface, decaying relatively quickly.

    I'm interested in the y-axis component of the wave, perpendicular to the metallic surface. Electric field strenght is said to rapidly decay in this direction. Obviously so, if you compare it with other vector components associated with a propagating wave. But theoretically (I suppose no-one has tried to actually do this kind of measurement yet), just how tall would these electron waves be, if one were to measure their peak amplitude (height from surface) vs. average electron operator in a non-excited state occupying a similar metallic surface. The dielectric could be air (or vacuum) for instance. I take it that this is not just a mathematical trick and that the electron plasma oscillation does occupy actual space along the y-axis also as it propagates. What say you?
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2016 #2


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    The Plasmon wave seems very similar to any other transmission line wave in that the surface is subjected to local areas of raised potential. The collective charge of the free electrons in a conductor is very large indeed, so it seems to me that only the slightest movement on a sub atomic scale would be required to create the y-component of the E-field.
  4. Jun 23, 2016 #3
    Different metals have different electron configurations. Does this mean that different metals have different forms of plasmonic oscillations? Vague question, I'm going for the Y component differences amongst different materials' plasmonic waves. Is it possible that the plasmonic excitation is considerably different in different materials of roughly indentical macroscopic topography, the frequency differences of the oscillations notwithstanding for the sake of the question? Any metamaterial studies/theories/propositions of exacerbated plasmonic magnitude of the Y-component?
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