Strong Coupling between ZnO Excitons and Localized Surface Plasmons of Silver Nanoparticles Studied by STEM-EELS

Jiake Wei, Nan Jiang, Jia Xu, Xuedong Bai, Jingyue Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We investigated the strong coupling between the excitons of ZnO nanowires (NWs) and the localized surface plasmons (LSPs) of individual Ag nanoparticles (NPs) by monochromated electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) instrument. The EELS results confirmed that the hybridization of the ZnO exciton with the LSPs of the Ag NP created two plexcitons: the lower branch plexcitons (LPs) with a symmetrical dipole distribution and the upper branch plexcitons (UPs) with an antisymmetrical dipole distribution. The spatial maps of the LP and UP excitations reveal the nature of the LSP-exciton interactions. With decreasing size of the Ag NP the peak energies of the LPs and UPs showed a blue-shift and an anticrossing behavior at the ZnO exciton energy was observed. The coupled oscillator model explains the dispersion curve of the plexcitons and a Rabi splitting energy of ∼170 meV was deduced. The high spatial and energy resolution STEM-EELS approach demonstrated in this work is general and can be extended to study the various coupling interactions of a plethora of metal-semiconductor nanocomposite systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5926-5931
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 9 2015


  • excitons
  • plasmonics
  • silver nanoparticle
  • strong coupling
  • ZnO nanowire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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