Surface plasmon and photonic mode propagation in gold nanotubes with varying wall thickness

Jesse Kohl, Micha Fireman, Deirdre M. O'Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Gold nanotube arrays are synthesized with a range of wall thicknesses (15 to >140 nm) and inner diameters of ∼200 nm using a hard-template method. A red spectral shift (>0.39 eV) with decreasing wall thickness is observed in dark-field spectra of nanotube arrays and single nanowire/nanotube heterostructures. Finite-difference-time-domain simulations show that nanotubes in this size regime support propagating surface plasmon modes as well as surface plasmon ring resonances at visible wavelengths (the latter is observed only for excitation directions normal to the nanotube long axis with transverse polarization). The energy of the surface plasmon modes decreases with decreasing wall thickness and is attributed to an increase in mode coupling between propagating modes in the nanotube core and outer surface and the circumference dependence of ring resonances. Surface plasmon mode propagation lengths for thicker-walled tubes increase by a factor of ∼2 at longer wavelengths (>700 nm), where ohmic losses in the metal are low, but thinner-walled tubes (30 nm) exhibit a more significant increase in surface plasmon propagation length (by a factor of more than four) at longer wavelengths. Additionally, nanotubes in this size regime support a photonic mode in their core, which does not change in energy with changing wall thickness. However, photonic mode propagation length is found to decrease for optically thin walls. Finally, correlations are made between the experimentally observed changes in dark-field spectra and the changes in surface plasmon mode properties observed in simulations for the various gold nanotube wall thicknesses and excitation conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number235118
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 5 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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