Interpreting chiral nanophotonic spectra: the plasmonic Born-Kuhn model

Nano Lett. 2013;13(12):6238-43. doi: 10.1021/nl403705k. Epub 2013 Nov 27.


One of the most intuitive ways to classically understand the generation of natural optical activity in chiral media is provided by the coupled oscillator model of Born and Kuhn consisting of two identical, vertically displaced, coupled oscillators. We experimentally realize and discuss its exact plasmonic analog in a system of corner-stacked gold nanorods. In particular, we analyze the arising circular dichroism and optical rotatory spectra in terms of hybridized electromagnetic modes and retardation. Specifically, we demonstrate how tuning the vertical distance between the nanorods can lead to a selective excitation of the occurring bonding and antibonding chiral plasmonic modes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Circular Dichroism*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Optics and Photonics


  • Gold