On the origin of nonlocal damping in plasmonic monomers and dimers

Christos Tserkezis*, N. Asger Mortensen, Wei Yan, Wenting Hsieh, Greg Sun, Jacob B. Khurgin, Martijn Wubs

*Corresponding author for this work

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The origin and importance of nonlocal damping is discussed through simulations with the generalized nonlocal optical response (GNOR) theory, in conjunction with time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations and equivalent circuit modeling, for some of the most typical plasmonic architectures: metal-dielectric interfaces, metal-dielectric-metal gaps, spherical nanoparticles and nanoparticle dimers. It is shown that diffusive damping, as introduced by the convective-diffusive GNOR theory, describes well the enhanced losses and plasmon broadening predicted by ab initio calculations in few-nm particles or few-to-sub-nm gaps. Through the evaluation of a local effective dielectric function, it is shown that absorptive losses appear dominantly close to the metal surface, in agreement with TDDFT and the mechanism of Landau damping due to generation of electron-hole pairs near the interface. Diffusive nonlocal theories provide therefore an efficient means to tackle plasmon damping when electron tunneling can be safely disregarded, without the need to resort to more accurate, but time-consuming fully quantum-mechanical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1740005
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics B
Issue number24
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • convective-diffusive theory
  • Nonlocal optical response
  • plasmon damping


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