In the first part of the dissertation we provide electrical circuit descriptions for bulk plasmons, single-surface plasmons, and parallel-plate plasmons. Simple circuits can reproduce the exact frequency versus wave-vector dispersion relations for all these cases, with reasonable accuracy. The circuit paradigm directly provides a characteristic wave impedance that is rarely discussed in the context of plasmonics. Owing to the presence of kinetic inductance, a plasmonic transmission line can support very large characteristic impedances on the order of kilo-Ohms. The ability to adjust the plasmonic wave impedance allows voltage transformer action at optical frequencies, through tapered metallic structures. This transformer action can be used to engineer efficient delivery of optical power to the nanoscale, or as an impedance matching tool toward molecular light emitters.

In the second part of the dissertation we discuss at length the application of plasmonic impedance matching to the problem of heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) where an optical antenna is used to concentrate optical power to nanoscale dimensions on the surface of a magnetic hard-disk drive.




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