Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Physics

Advisor

Herzog, Joseph

Reader

Spearot, Douglas

Second Reader

Roe, Larry

Third Reader

Stewart, Gay

Fourth Reader

Nutter, Darin

Abstract

Plasmonic devices have gained popularity recently due to their unique ability to focus light to scales smaller than the diffraction limit and amplify the intensity of incident light. One such plasmonic device is the gold nanowire, a simple geometry that can be fabricated into a variety of geometric patterns. The aim of this project was to determine the effect of nanowire geometry on its maximum optical enhancement. For this purpose, the plasmonic optical enhancement properties of single gold nanowires and triple nanowire arrays were investigated using finite element method simulations. The results of the simulations indicate a significant effect on the optical enhancement of both the thickness and width of the nanowires. From the simulation data, an equation for each geometry (single and triple array) was found that relates the dimensions and incident wavelength to the optical enhancement. These equations can be used while designing nanowires to optimize the dimensions and provide the maximum possible optical enhancement.

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