Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I really want to understand about the Surface Plasmon of metal nanoparticles, if anyone can explain it to me i'll be grateful.

I have checked Wikipedia for it but didn't get anything clear.

share|cite|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

What level are you at?

When you totally internal reflect light on a surface there is an electric field which extends a very small distance out of the surface - this is called the evanescent wave and excites states on the surface called surface plasmons.

The interesting thing is that if you very slightly change the electrical characteristics of the surface you can make a big change in the internally reflected light. So a clever way of making extremely sensitive sensors is to bind some metal nanoparticles to the surface and coat them with some chemical that reacts with what you are looking for. The chemical you are sensing sticks to the nanoparticles, changes the electrical field and changes the reflected light = very sensitive chemical/biochemical detector.

share|cite|improve this answer
Ah, thanks for the clarification, and what's plasmon oscillations ? – Rafael Adel Jun 22 '12 at 21:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.