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Optical properties of nanoparticles

The strong optical properties of nanoparticles (e.g. plasmonic or semiconducting) can be tuned across the visible to the mid infra-red range by modifying their size and shape. When such nanoparticles are organized in ensembles, collective properties are obtained that differ from those of individual particles and the resulting optical properties can be further tuned and even amplified. In particular, plasmon coupling in small gaps (1–10 nm) between plasmonic nanoparticles results in intense electric fields (i.e.,hot-spots) that can be exploited for many purposes, such as sensing, biomaterials, metamaterials design, switching devices, and so forth.