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Module PH2173

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2018 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2018SS 2017SS 2013

Basic Information

PH2173 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 45 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2173 is Michael Kaniber.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


In this lecture, we introduce the science and technology of nanophotonics on metals and their nanostructures. First we introduce the basics of light-matter-coupling between external electromagnetic radiation and the free electron gas at a metal-dielectric interface for an homogenous metal film and simple metal-dielectric heterostructures. Following, we will learn methods to excite and detect surface plasmon polaritons, which are bound to the metal-dielectric interface. Afterwards we continue to study the physics of surface plasmon politons in confined geometries; (i) propagating surface plasmon polaritons in metallic waveguides and (ii) localised surface plasmon polaritons in metallic nanoparticles. If time permits we will at the end of the course also tough advanced topics and applications of pasmonic nanostructures, such as e.g. quantum plasmonics, non-linear plasmonics and light-matter-coupling with optically active materials.

Learning Outcome

After completion of this course, you should have learn the following:

- Optical properties of metals 

- Requirements for the generation of surface plasmon polaritons

- Derivation of the surface plasmon polariton dispersion relation at metal-dielectric interfaces

- Various methods and their explanation to generate and detect surface plasmon polaritons

- Fabrication methods to realise metallic nanostructures

- Behaviour of surface plasmon polaritons in metallic waveguides

- quasi-static approximation for the description of localised surface plasmon polaritons in metal nanoparticles

- Applications of surface plasmon poalritons


Basic knowledge of 

- classical electrodynamics (Maxwell physics)

- optics

- quantum mechanics

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Nanoplasmonics Thu, 10:00–12:00, ZNN 0.001
UE 1 Exercise to Nanoplasmonics

Learning and Teaching Methods

The content of the lecture will be presented in a weekly lecture (2SWS) using power-point slides. In addition to the active participation in the lecture, we will routinely give out literature in the form of book chapters, review articles or important papers. Moreover, we offer an additional exercise / discussion round (1SWS), in which current literature on nanoplasmonic topics can be discussed within a small group.


Powerpoint presentation


Numerous books on nanoplasmonics exist. Some on which the current course is based are listed below (not complete liste)

- Stefan A Maier "Plasmonics - Fundamentals and Applications" Springer (2007)

- Heinz Raether "Surface Plasmons on Smooth and Rough Surfaces and on Gratings" Springer (1986)

- Mark L Brongersma "Surface Plasmon Nanophotonics" Spinger (2007

- Heinz Raether "Excitations of Plasmons and Interband Transitions by Electrons" Springer (1980)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Sketch and describe the dispersion relation of surface plasmon polaritons!
  • Describe and explain the trade-off between plasmon propagation and confinement!
  • Name and describe method to couple light to and from plasmonic structures!
  • Explain methods in order to fabricate nanoscale plasmonic devices!

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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