Active Plasmonics and Active Chiral Plasmonics through Orientation-Dependent Multipolar Interactions

Peter R. Stevenson, Matthew Du, Charles Cherqui, Marc R. Bourgeois, Kate Rodriguez, Jacob R. Neff, Endora Abreu, Ilse M. Meiler, Venkata Ananth Tamma, Vartkess Ara Apkarian, George C. Schatz, Joel Yuen-Zhou, Jennifer S. Shumaker-Parry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


While most active plasmonic efforts focus on responsive metamaterials to modulate optical response, we present a simple alternative based on applied orientation control that can likely be implemented for many passive plasmonic materials. Passive plasmonic motifs are simpler to prepare but cannot be altered postfabrication. We show that such systems can be easily manipulated through substrate orientation control to generate both active plasmonic and active chiral plasmonic responses. Using gold nanocrescents as our model platform, we demonstrate tuning of optical extinction from -21% to +36% at oblique incidence relative to normal incidence. Variation of substrate orientation in relation to incident polarization is also demonstrated to controllably switch chiroptical handedness (e.g., Δg = ± 0.55). These active plasmonic responses arise from the multipolar character of resonant modes. In particular, we correlate magnetoelectric and dipole-quadrupole polarizabilities with different light-matter orientation-dependence in both near- and far-field localized surface plasmon activity. Additionally, the attribution of far-field optical response to higher-order multipoles highlights the sensitivity offered by these orientation-dependent characterization techniques to probe the influence of localized electromagnetic field gradients on a plasmonic response. The sensitivity afforded by orientation-dependent optical characterization is further observed by the manifestation in both plasmon and chiral plasmon responses of unpredicted structural nanocrescent variance (e.g., left- and right-tip asymmetry) not physically resolved through topographical imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11518-11532
Number of pages15
JournalACS nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 22 2020


  • active plasmonics
  • anisotropy
  • chiral plasmonics
  • extrinsic chirality
  • localized surface plasmon resonance
  • magnetoelectric effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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