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Shallow subsurface layers of gold nanoclusters were formed in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) polymer by very low energy (49 eV) gold ion implantation. The ion implantation process was modeled by computer simulation and accurately predicted the layer depth and width. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to image the buried layer and individual nanoclusters; the layer width was ∼6–8 nm and the cluster diameter was ∼5–6 nm. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) absorption effects were observed by UV-visible spectroscopy. The TEM and SPR results were related to prior measurements of electrical conductivity of Au-doped PMMA, and excellent consistency was found with a model of electrical conductivity in which either at low implantation dose the individual nanoclusters are separated and do not physically touch each other, or at higher implantation dose the nanoclusters touch each other to form a random resistor network (percolation model).