Plasmonic resonances can concentrate light into exceptionally small volumes, approaching the molecular scale. The extreme light confinement provides an advantageous pathway to probe molecules at the surface of plasmonic nanostructures with highly sensitive spectroscopies, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Unavoidable energy losses associated with metals, which are usually seen as a nuisance, carry invaluable information on energy transfer to the adsorbed molecules through the resonance linewidth. We measured a thousand single nanocavities with sharp gap plasmon resonances that spanned the red to near-infrared spectral range and used changes in their linewidth, peak energy and surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectra to monitor the energy transfer and plasmon-driven chemical reactions at their surface. Using methylene blue as a model system, we measured shifts in the absorption spectrum of molecules on surface adsorption and revealed a rich plasmon-driven reactivity landscape that consists of distinct reaction pathways that occur in separate resonance energy windows.
Dr. Eitan Oksenberg obtained his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science for which he received two awards for outstanding PhD research. In his research at the Department of Materials and Interfaces, he investigated the surface-induced growth and properties of nanowires of optoelectronic materials, exploring both classic and soft semiconductors and integrating them into various optoelectronic devices including patented photovoltaic devices. In 2018 he moved to Amsterdam and joined the Center for Nanophotonics and the Light Management in New Photovoltaic Materials team at AMOLF as a post-doctoral researcher. His research lies at the interface of chemistry and nanophotonics dedicated to find new ways to harness amplified light-matter interactions to control chemical reactions.