Quantum junction plasmons in graphene dimers


Corresponding author: e-mail: J.G.deAbajo@nanophotonics.es


The interaction between doped graphene nanoislands connected by narrow junctions constitutes an ideal testbed to probe quantum effects in plasmonic systems. Here, the interaction between graphene plasmons in neighboring nanoislands is predicted to be extremely sensitive to the size and shape of the junctions. The reported ab initio calculations reveal three different regimes of interaction: (1) for narrow bridges (<4 carbon-atom rows), the conductance of the junction is too low to allow electron transport and the optical response is dominated by a characteristic bonding dipolar dimer mode that also appears in a classical description; (2) for wider junctions (4-8 carbon rows), a strong charge polarization is induced across the junction, which gives rise to a novel junction plasmon that has no counterpart in a classical description; (3) for even wider junctions (≥8 rows), their conductance is sufficiently large to allow charge transport between the two graphene islands, resulting in a pronounced charge-transfer plasmon, which can also be described classically. This work opens a new path for the investigation of intrinsic plasmon quantum effects.