Abstract

An effective-medium theory (EMT) is developed to predict the effective permittivity εeff of dense random dispersions of high optical-conductivity metals such as Ag, Au, and Cu. Dependence of εeff on the volume fraction ϕ, a microstructure parameter κ related to the static structure factor and particle radius a, is studied. In the electrostatic limit, the upper and lower bounds of κ correspond to Maxwell–Garnett and Bruggeman EMTs, respectively. Finite size effects are significant when |β2(ka/n)3| becomes O(1), where β, k, and n denote the nanoparticle polarizability, wavenumber, and matrix refractive index, respectively. The coupling between the particle and effective medium results in a red-shift in the resonance peak, a nonlinear dependence of εeff on ϕ, and Fano resonance in εeff.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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