The study of the surface plasmons of noble metals has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing and dynamic topics in nanoscience. Key advances in the synthesis of noble metal nanoparticles and nanostructures have resulted in a broad variety of structures whose geometries can be controlled systematically at the nanoscale. Arising from these efforts is a new level of insight and understanding regarding the fundamental properties of localized plasmons supported by these structures, and, in particular, the properties of interacting plasmon systems. This additional insight has led to the design of plasmonic systems that support coherent phenomena, such as Fano resonances. A broad range of applications are emerging for these structures: single- nanoparticle and nanogap chemical sensors, low-loss plasmon waveguides, and active plasmonic devices and detectors. Applications in biomedicine that exploit the strong photothermal response of nanoparticle plasmons have developed and advanced into clinical trials. The Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice has been home to many of these advances. Here, we showcase a variety of functional plasmonic materials and nanodevices emerging from our individual and collaborative efforts.