Plasmonic phenomena in molecular junctions: principles and applications

Maoning Wang, Tao Wang, Oluwafemi S. Ojambati, Thorin Jake Duffin, Keehoon Kang, Takhee Lee, Elke Scheer, Dong Xiang, Christian A. Nijhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular junctions are building blocks for constructing future nanoelectronic devices that enable the investigation of a broad range of electronic transport properties within nanoscale regions. Crossing both the nanoscopic and mesoscopic length scales, plasmonics lies at the intersection of the macroscopic photonics and nanoelectronics, owing to their capability of confining light to dimensions far below the diffraction limit. Research activities on plasmonic phenomena in molecular electronics started around 2010, and feedback between plasmons and molecular junctions has increased over the past years. These efforts can provide new insights into the near-field interaction and the corresponding tunability in properties, as well as resultant plasmon-based molecular devices. This Review presents the latest advancements of plasmonic resonances in molecular junctions and details the progress in plasmon excitation and plasmon coupling. We also highlight emerging experimental approaches to unravel the mechanisms behind the various types of light–matter interactions at molecular length scales, where quantum effects come into play. Finally, we discuss the potential of these plasmonic–electronic hybrid systems across various future applications, including sensing, photocatalysis, molecular trapping and active control of molecular switches. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-704
Number of pages24
JournalNature Reviews Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank J. J. Baumberg, J. Aizpurua, P. Leiderer, J. Boneberg, J. C. Cuevas, F. Pauly, H. Liu and T. Huhn for fruitful discussions. They acknowledge financial support from the National Key R&D Program of China (2021YFA1200103), National Natural Science Foundation of China (91950116, 61571242, 62071318), Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (19JCZDJC31000, 19JCYBJC16500) and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants (No. 2021R1A2C3004783 and NRF-2021R1C1C1010266). The authors acknowledge the National Research Foundation (NRF) for supporting this research under the Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, under its Medium-Sized Centre Programme and the Competitive Research Programme (NRF-CRP17-2017-08), as well as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through SFB 767 (project number 32152442).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Springer Nature Limited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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