Abstract Silver nanocrystals, self-organized in compact hexagonal networks, on gold and graphite exhibit anisotropic optical properties. From polarized electron photoemission spectroscopy, a two-photon mechanism is demonstrated and an enhancement due to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of the nanocrystal film is observed. Two SPR peaks appear, due to dipolar interactions and induced by the self-organization of silver nanocrystals. This property is used to probe the substrate effect on the plasmon resonance. Its damping is related to particle–substrate interactions.