Plasmon resonance broadening in small metal particles

W. A. Kraus*, G. C. Schatz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


A quantum mechanical method based on the Kramers-Heisenberg dispersion relation is used to evaluate the dielectric response of small metal particles, and thereby to determine the influence of particle size on the widths of the plasmon resonance line shapes. Several different particle shapes are considered (sphere, cylinder, rectangular prism, spherical shell, and cylindrical shell) and for each shape a free electron Schrödinger equation is used to determine conduction band energies and dipole matrix elements. The main emphasis in this work is on particle sizes large enough that only the first order deviations from the infinite size limit are important, and for such sizes we find that the size dependent contribution to the width can be expressed in terms of an effective length Leff. This effective length is found to depend on the direction of the external field relative to the particle symmetry axes, and on the shape of the particle. For compact shapes, Leff is accurately approximated by 0.65 Lav along each principal axis, where Lav is the ratio of particle volume to its projected area along the relevant axis. Comparison with previous classical and semiclassical calculations is considered, and for spherical particles, we find good agreement with the classical surface scattering model, differing by about 16%. More significant differences are found for other shapes, most notably because the classical theory ignores the dependence of resonance width on the orientation of the field relative to the particle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6130-6139
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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