Open Access Nano Express

Plasmonic and photonic scattering and near fields of nanoparticles

Martina Schmid*, Patrick Andrae and Phillip Manley

Author Affiliations

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Nanooptical Concepts for PV, Hahn-Meitner-Platz 1, 14109 Berlin, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:50  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-50

Published: 29 January 2014

Abstract

We theoretically compare the scattering and near field of nanoparticles from different types of materials, each characterized by specific optical properties that determine the interaction with light: metals with their free charge carriers giving rise to plasmon resonances, dielectrics showing zero absorption in wide wavelength ranges, and semiconductors combining the two beforehand mentioned properties plus a band gap. Our simulations are based on Mie theory and on full 3D calculations of Maxwell’s equations with the finite element method. Scattering and absorption cross sections, their division into the different order electric and magnetic modes, electromagnetic near field distributions around the nanoparticles at various wavelengths as well as angular distributions of the scattered light were investigated. The combined information from these calculations will give guidelines for choosing adequate nanoparticles when aiming at certain scattering properties. With a special focus on the integration into thin film solar cells, we will evaluate our results.