A classical treatment of optical tunneling in plasmonic gaps: extending the quantum corrected model to practical situations

Faraday Discuss. 2015;178:151-83. doi: 10.1039/c4fd00196f.


The optical response of plasmonic nanogaps is challenging to address when the separation between the two nanoparticles forming the gap is reduced to a few nanometers or even subnanometer distances. We have compared results of the plasmon response within different levels of approximation, and identified a classical local regime, a nonlocal regime and a quantum regime of interaction. For separations of a few Ångstroms, in the quantum regime, optical tunneling can occur, strongly modifying the optics of the nanogap. We have considered a classical effective model, so called Quantum Corrected Model (QCM), that has been introduced to correctly describe the main features of optical transport in plasmonic nanogaps. The basics of this model are explained in detail, and its implementation is extended to include nonlocal effects and address practical situations involving different materials and temperatures of operation.