Eutectic liquid alloys for plasmonics: Theory and experiment

Martin G. Blaber, Clifford J. Engel, S. R.C. Vivekchand, Steven M. Lubin, Teri W. Odom, G. C. Schatz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We report a method based on density functional theory molecular dynamics that allows us to calculate the plasmonic properties of liquid metals and metal alloys from first principles with no a priori knowledge of the system. We show exceptional agreement between the simulated and measured optical constants of liquid Ga and the room temperature liquid In-Ga eutectic alloy (T m = 289 K). We then use this method to analyze the plasmonic properties of various alloy concentrations in the In-Ga system. The plasmonic performance of the In-Ga system decreases with increasing In concentration. However, the benefits of a room-temperature plasmonic liquid are likely to outweigh the minor reduction in plasmonic performance when moving from pure Ga to the eutectic composition. Our results show that density functional theory molecular dynamics can be used as a predictive tool for studying the optical properties of liquid metal systems amenable to plasmonics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5275-5280
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012


  • Surface plasmon polaritons
  • density functional theory
  • gratings
  • liquid metals
  • molecular dynamics
  • simulated optical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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