Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Radhakrishna Sureshkumar


The finite difference time domain method was used to simulate the optical response of plasmonic composites with one and two nanoscale spherical metallic inclusion(s): Ag/Cu in Air/SiO2) with various diameters and compositions. Fair agreement was found between simulation and effective medium theories for binary and ternary composites. Responses of ternary Ag/Cu/SiO2 composites with various Ag:Cu ratios were found to be in fair agreement with the experimental data obtained from literature. Experiments with photosynthetic microalga Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii and Cyanothece showed that the wavelength specific backscattering in the blue region of the spectrum from an Ag nanoparticle suspension could promote microalgal growth by more than 30%. This was because the photoactivity of green microalgae is non-monotonic across the electromagnetic spectrum. The wavelength and light flux of the backscattered field were found to be controllable through the variation of the geometric features and/or concentration of the nanoparticles in the suspension.


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