Maxwell’s equations state that a dielectric–metallic interface can support surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs), which are coherent electron oscillation waves that propagate along the interface with an electromagnetic wave. The unique properties of the interface waves result from the frequency-dependent dispersion characteristics of metallic and dielectric materials. This chapter provides an introduction to alternative plasmonic materials, as well as the rationale for each material choice. The comprehensive optical properties of various materials, including noble metals and semiconductors, are presented. The optical properties are evaluated based on the permittivity and permeability defined by either the Drude or Lorentz model. Furthermore, the noble metals are described from the generally approved data in a general handbook of solid materials, such as the Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids, edited by Palik. This chapter outlines the effective medium approaches for describing the effective dielectric functions of composite nanostructures. It also provides a reference for finding better plasmonic materials at specific frequencies.
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