Plasmonic Coupling Effects on the Refractive Index Sensitivities of Plane Au-Nanosphere-Cluster Sensors
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Plasmonic coupling effects (between neighboring components) are able to red shift the peak wavelengths of dipolar-localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) and increase the corresponding refractive index sensitivity of nanoparticle sensors. The coupling effects on plane Au-nanosphere-cluster (including nanosphere dimer, trimer, pentamer, and heptamer) sensors are numerically investigated by finite element method (FEM). We found that the coupling does not violate the quadratic response characteristics of LSPR peak wavelengths, hence the linear responses of the sensitivities to the bulk refractive index of Au cluster sensors. Yet, for nanosphere dimer sensors, they contribute to the exponential decrease of sensitivities with their gap distances, which follow the universal plasmon ruler behavior. The amplitude of their fractional sensitivity shift is revealed to be bulk refractive index independent, which is different from that of their fractional LSPR peak wavelength shift. These are analytically explained well in terms of an effective nanoparticle model. The present work also gives an upper sensitivity limit for Au nanosphere dimer systems and provides a method to estimate the interparticle separation between the two component nanospheres of the dimer.
KeywordsPlasmonic coupling effects Refractive-index sensitivities Plane Au-nanosphere-cluster sensors Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) Finite element method (FEM)
This work was finically supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. NS2016074) and by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11774171).
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