Semiclassical approach to plasmon-electron coupling and Landau damping of surface plasmons
Journal article, 2011

A semiclassical model is developed to describe plasmon–electron coupling and electronic damping of surface plasmons. It is compared with the ab initio linear response calculations for metallic thin films in the jellium approximation and for a realistic crystalline Mg(0001) surface. The semiclassical model is able to reproduce the quantum oscillations of plasmon linewidth, which was obtained in the previous ab initio calculations. In addition, state-resolved analysis reveals the origin of these oscillations, which result from superposition of the short-period oscillations of individual electron–hole pair transitions. The semiclassical model is further applied to a crystalline Mg(0001) surface, where linewidth dispersion of the surface plasmon is calculated and shows good agreement with earlier ab initio calculation and experiment. Our results suggest that this semiclassical approach is quite promising for the quantitative description of plasmon–electron coupling and associated processes such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering, light emission, and fluorescence.


Yi Gao

University of Gothenburg

Zhe Yuan

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Materials and Surface Theory

Shiwu Gao

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Chemical Physics

0021-9606 (ISSN) 1089-7690 (eISSN)

Vol. 134 13 134702- 134702

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences

Condensed Matter Physics



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