In this paper, we review the principal theoretical models through which the dielectric function of metals can be described. Starting from the Drude assumptions for intraband transitions, we show how this model can be improved by including interband absorption and temperature effect in the damping coefficients. Electronic scattering processes are described and included in the dielectric function, showing their role in determining plasmon lifetime at resonance. Relationships among permittivity, electric conductivity and refractive index are examined. Finally, a temperature dependent permittivity model is presented and is employed to predict temperature and non-linear field intensity dependence on commonly used plasmonic geometries, such as nanospheres. 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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