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Surface Plasmons

  • Ansgar Liebsch
Chapter
Part of the Physics of Solids and Liquids book series (PSLI)

Abstract

Electronic excitations at metal surfaces can be readily observed via inelastic electron scattering. The most prominent feature in such loss spectra is the surface plasmon. We discuss first the surface plasmons of several simple metals (Mg, Al, Na, K, and Cs) which can be quite well understood in terms of the eigenmodes of a semi-infinite electron gas. This is true not only for the ordinary monopole surface plasmon, but also for the weaker multipole surface plasmon appearing at slightly higher frequencies. Severe changes due to interference with interband transitions are observed on Li, but the dispersion of the surface plasmon remains qualitatively similar to that for semi-infinite jellium. The most striking deviation from this general behavior is seen on Ag, where the occupied 4d bands not only affect the overall frequency of the surface plasmon but also its dispersion with wave vector. Noticeable effects due to shallow core levels are also found for Hg. Other types of modifications arise if the metal is charged or if it is in contact with a dielectric medium or metallic adsorbates. These spectra illustrate the remarkable sensitivity of dynamical response properties to surface conditions. New surface modes and intriguing interferences among them occur in thin alkali metal overlayers. As their coverage is increased, the evolution of adsorbate-induced modes to those at semi-infinite alkali metal surfaces can be observed. The collective modes of thin adsorbed Ag layers differ from those of alkali metal overlayers because of the presence of d bands. Finally, the wave vector dispersion of plasmons at flat metal surfaces is closely related to the size dependence of the Mie plasmon in small metal particles and to collective modes in quantum wells.

Keywords

Electron Energy Loss Spectrum Jellium Model Small Metal Particle Multipole Mode Surface Response Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ansgar Liebsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschungszentrum JülichJülichGermany

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