1 Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Plasmonics and Metamaterials, Department of Photonics Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.4 P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute
Photoelectric properties of noncentrosymmetric, similarly oriented metallic nanoparticles embedded in a homogeneous semiconductor matrix are theoretically studied. Because of the asymmetric shape of the nanoparticle boundary, photoelectron emission acquires a preferred direction, resulting in a photocurrent flow in that direction when nanoparticles are uniformly illuminated by a homogeneous plane wave. This effect is a direct analogy of the photogalvanic (or bulk photovoltaic) effect known to exist in media with noncentrosymmetric crystal structure, such as doped lithium niobate or bismuth ferrite, but is several orders of magnitude stronger. Termed the giant plasmonic photogalvanic effect, the reported phenomenon is valuable for characterizing photoemission and photoconductive properties of plasmonic nanostructures and can find many uses for photodetection and photovoltaic applications.