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Plasmonics is rapidly developing into its own discipline at the boundaries of physics, materials science and chemistry, and leading the way towards a marriage between photonics and the nanosciences. A fascinating aspect of this field is its ability to bring together scientists working on the fundamentals of light/matter interactions in nanoscale systems and tool-makers aiming to utilize plasmonic systems for applications in the sciences and engineering.

This focus issue represents a good spectrum of the variety of plasmonics research currently underway – from a strong focus on the basic properties of light localization on the nanoscale to hybrid systems with modulating functionalities and devices. Also, new materials systems are attracting ever more attention, driven by the need to overcome the optical losses intrinsic to the most common plasmonic materials, gold and silver.

Without a doubt plasmonics is at a very exciting point at the moment, as our understanding of the electromagnetic properties of nanoscale systems is applied to more complex systems not only including metals, but also functional materials that change their properties due to external stimuli. Hopefully the reader will find some of the excitement inherent in the community while reading these contributions.

Biographical Information

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  2. Biographical Information
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Stefan Maier is Professor of Nanophotonics, Physics Department, and a Co-Director of the Centre for Plasmonics & Metamaterials at Imperial College London. In 2009 he also became Visiting Professor at A*STAR Institute for Materials Research & Engineering (IMRE), Singapore. Research in his group comprises fundamental light/matter interactions on the nanoscale as well as applied design of metamaterials, now aspiring to integrated biological sensors. Contributions on nanostructured optical metallic waveguides and on high confinement plasmon waveguiding in the THz regime found much acclaim in the surging field of plasmonics, earning the Paterson medal and the Sackler Prize in Physics in 2010.