Quantum mechanical effects in plasmonic structures with subnanometre gaps
Metallic structures with nanogap features have proven highly effective as building blocks for plasmonic systems, as they can provide a wide tuning range of operating frequencies and large near-field enhancements. Recent work has shown that quantum mechanical effects such as electron tunnelling and nonlocal screening become important as the gap distances approach the subnanometre length-scale. Such quantum effects challenge the classical picture of nanogap plasmons and have stimulated a number of theoretical and experimental studies. This review outlines the findings of many groups into quantum mechanical effects in nanogap plasmons, and discusses outstanding challenges and future directions.