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Photocurrent, Photovoltage, and Optical Magnetism in Plasmonic Metals
March 26, 201912:00 pm – 1:00 pm (CDT)

Photocurrent, Photovoltage, and Optical Magnetism in Plasmonic Metals


Matthew T. Sheldon ( Chemistry Department, Texas A&M University)


Marlan Scully



Mitchell Physics Building

College Station, Texas 77843-4242

Event Details

Fundamentally, plasmon oscillations are an opto-mechanical phenomenon. Incident optical fields induce coherent the motion of electrons to produce large fluctuations of charge density at "hot spots" in resonant metal nanostructures. Our laboratory is interested in how this coherent motion at optical frequencies can be rectified, or otherwise leveraged to generate large photovoltages or photocurrents, as a platform for all-metal alternatives to traditional semiconductor photovoltaics. In this talk I will discuss our recent time-resolved studies showing remarkable plasmonic enhancement ( > 1000x ) of the of optically-induced magnetic fields in plasmonic metal nanoparticles due to the inverse Faraday effect, as well as the concomitant macroscopic drift currents from electrons that circulate these resonant geometries during circularly polarized optical excitation. I will also discuss our recent progress implementing thermionic power converters based on non-equilibrium "hot electrons" produced via Landau damping of plasmon oscillations

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