Abstract

The optical properties of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) can be described with analytical models based on fundamental quantum mechanical principles, of which the Drude model constitutes the classical limit. Here, we examine the plasmonic properties of silver and gold nanospheres and dimers, with radii ranging from 10 to 1 nm, extending from the classically described regime to the quantum size regime. We have studied the spectral extinction cross section by using the T-matrix method. The results indicate an increasingly substantial change in NP permittivity as the radius is reduced below 5 nm, showing a clear blueshift and weakening of the plasmon resonances for both silver and gold. As a consequence, we observe a dramatic change in the interaction of dimers, especially in the case of gold, where the introduction of quantum mechanically corrected optical properties quenches the plasmonic resonance and predicts an absence of the expected associated redshift.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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