Time Domain Surface Integral Equation Solvers for Quantum Corrected Electromagnetic Analysis of Plasmonic Nanostructures

  • Ismail Enes Uysal

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Plasmonic structures are utilized in many applications ranging from bio-medicine to solar energy generation and transfer. Numerical schemes capable of solving equations of classical electrodynamics have been the method of choice for characterizing scattering properties of such structures. However, as dimensions of these plasmonic structures reduce to nanometer scale, quantum mechanical effects start to appear. These effects cannot be accurately modeled by available classical numerical methods. One of these quantum effects is the tunneling, which is observed when two structures are located within a sub-nanometer distance of each other. At these small distances electrons “jump" from one structure to another and introduce a path for electric current to flow. Classical equations of electrodynamics and the schemes used for solving them do not account for this additional current path. This limitation can be lifted by introducing an auxiliary tunnel with material properties obtained using quantum models and applying a classical solver to the structures connected by this auxiliary tunnel. Early work on this topic focused on quantum models that are generated using a simple one-dimensional wave function to find the tunneling probability and assume a simple Drude model for the permittivity of the tunnel. These tunnel models are then used together with a classical frequency domain solver. In this thesis, a time domain surface integral equation solver for quantum corrected analysis of transient plasmonic interactions is proposed. This solver has several advantages: (i) As opposed to frequency domain solvers, it provides results at a broad band of frequencies with a single simulation. (ii) As opposed to differential equation solvers, it only discretizes surfaces (reducing number of unknowns), enforces the radiation condition implicitly (increasing the accuracy), and allows for time step selection independent of spatial discretization (increasing efficiency). The quantum model of the tunnel is obtained using density functional theory (DFT) computations, which account for the atomic structure of materials. Accuracy and applicability of this (quantum corrected) time domain surface integral equation solver will be shown by numerical examples.
Date of AwardOct 2016
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorHakan Bagci (Supervisor)


  • Plasmonics
  • Time-domain
  • Quantum-tunneling
  • Integral-equation

Cite this