When plasmons reach atomic flatland

Snapshot of a calculation showing a slowly moving plasmon wave packet excited on monolayer TaS2. The plasmon wave packet is highly localized in real space even at ~1 ps after its creation with an ultrafast laser pulse coupled to an atomic-force microscopy tip. Credit: Felipe da Jornada

Researchers from the MPSD and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in the United States have discovered a significant new fundamental kind of quantum electronic oscillation, or plasmon, in atomically thin materials. Their work has now been published in Nature Communications. It has potential implications for novel imaging techniques and photochemical reactions at the nanoscale.

Almost seventy years ago, scientists showed that electrons in materials could sustain wavelike propagating oscillations, known as plasmons. Nowadays, there is a vibrant field of plasmonics which studies…

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