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Graduate Student Seminar - 09/15/2017

"Using Plasmonic Excitation to Generate Electrostatic Potentials"

by Kevin Palm

Friday, September 15, 2017 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Associate Professor Jeremy Munday

An alternative architecture to semiconductor solar cells could utilize localized surface plasmons to produce a voltage between nanoparticles. Recently, it has been shown that illumination of a nanoscale metal structure near its resonance frequency causes a change in its electrostatic voltage due to charge transfer. This charge transfer could occur from two distinct effects: the plasmoelectric effect or a hot carrier effect. In principle, the generated voltage can be used to power an external circuit. We use fast, high-resolution Kelvin probe force microscopy methods, that we recently developed to map the open-circuit voltage of solar cells, to map surface potentials in plasmonic nanostructures under illumination. Preliminary results show voltage changes of ~100 mV upon illumination of 100 nm Au particles that follow the form of simulated hot electron effects. Fabrication Au disk structures have also exhibited broad hot electron-like responses.

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