Prof. Olivier Martin


Plasmonic colours


We often refer to the beautiful colours of medieval stained glass windows to introduce the field of plasmonics to those who are not familiar with this field of research. However, evidences of the utilization of metallic nanoparticles in those ancient glasses are very poorly documented. In this presentation, I will first report our findings on a piece of red flashed stained glass of the 15th century belonging to Ulm Munster and in which we have discovered copper plasmonic nanostructures. I will then move to modern nanotechnology and show how we can fabricate highly saturated and bright colours with silver nanostructures, using metal-insulator-metal sandwich nanodisks that support enhanced in-phase electric dipole modes. These structures produce vivid complementary colours in transmission and reflection and can cover the full colour gamut.


Olivier J.F. Martin is Professor of Nanophotonics and Optical Signal Processing at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), where he is head of the Nanophotonics and Metrology Laboratory and Director of the Microengineering Section. He conducts a comprehensive research that combines modelling with nanofabrication and experiments on plasmonic systems, with applications in nonlinear optics, biosensing, security and optical manipulations at the nanoscale. Dr. Martin has authored about 250 journal articles and holds a handful of patents and invention disclosures.