Classification of scalar and dyadic nonlocal optical response models

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

321 Downloads (Pure)


Nonlocal optical response is one of the emerging effects on the nanoscale for particles made of metals or doped semiconductors. Here we classify and compare both scalar and tensorial nonlocal response models. In the latter case the nonlocality can stem from either the longitudinal response, the transverse response, or both. In phenomenological scalar models the nonlocal response is described as a smearing out of the commonly assumed infinitely localized response, as characterized by a distribution with a finite width. Here we calculate explicitly whether and how tensorial models, such as the hydrodynamic Drude model and generalized nonlocal optical response theory, follow this phenomenological description. We find considerable differences, for example that nonlocal response functions, in contrast to simple distributions, assume negative and complex values. Moreover, nonlocal response regularizes some but not all diverging optical near fields. We identify the scalar model that comes closest to the hydrodynamic model. Interestingly, for the hydrodynamic Drude model we find that actually only one third (1/3) of the free-electron response is smeared out nonlocally. In that sense, nonlocal response is stronger for transverse and scalar nonlocal response models, where the smeared-out fractions are 2/3 and 3/3, respectively. The latter two models seem to predict novel plasmonic resonances also below the plasma frequency, in contrast to the hydrodynamic model that predicts standing pressure waves only above the plasma frequency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Express
Issue number24
Pages (from-to)31296-31312
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Classification of scalar and dyadic nonlocal optical response models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this