Nonlinear plasmonics in a two-dimensional plasma layer

Bengt Eliasson, Chuan-Sheng Liu

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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The nonlinear electron dynamics in a two-dimensional (2D) plasma layer is investigated theoretically and numerically. In contrast to the Langmuir oscillations in a three-dimensional (3D) plasma, a well-known feature of the 2D system is the square root dependence of the frequency on the wavenumber, which leads to unique dispersive properties of 2D plasmons. It is found that for large amplitude plasmonic waves there is a nonlinear frequency upshift similar to that of periodic gravity waves (Stokes waves). The periodic wave train is subject to a modulational instability, leading to sidebands growing exponentially in time. Numerical simulations show the breakup of a 2D wave train into localized wave packets and later into wave turbulence with immersed large amplitude solitary spikes. The results are applied to systems involving massless Dirac fermions in graphene as well as to sheets of electrons on liquid helium.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053007
Number of pages11
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016


  • nonlinear plasmonics
  • two-dimensional plasma
  • graphene plasmons


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