Quantum effects in the optical response of extended plasmonic gaps: validation of the quantum corrected model in core-shell nanomatryushkas

Opt Express. 2015 Mar 23;23(6):8134-49. doi: 10.1364/OE.23.008134.


Electron tunneling through narrow gaps between metal nanoparticles can strongly affect the plasmonic response of the hybrid nanostructure. Although quantum mechanical in nature, this effect can be properly taken into account within a classical framework of Maxwell equations using the so-called Quantum Corrected Model (QCM). We extend previous studies on spherical cluster and cylindrical nanowire dimers where the tunneling current occurs in the extremely localized gap regions, and perform quantum mechanical time dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations of the plasmonic response of cylindrical core-shell nanoparticles (nanomatryushkas). In this axially symmetric situation, the tunneling region extends over the entire gap between the metal core and the metallic shell. For core-shell separations below 0.5 nm, the standard classical calculations fail to describe the plasmonic response of the cylindrical nanomatryushka, while the QCM can reproduce the quantum results. Using the QCM we also retrieve the quantum results for the absorption cross section of the spherical nanomatryushka calculated by V. Kulkarni et al. [Nano Lett. 13, 5873 (2013)]. The comparison between the model and the full quantum calculations establishes the applicability of the QCM for a wider range of geometries that hold tunneling gaps.