The scientific and technological interest for metal-dielectric nanocomposite thin films emanates from the excitation of localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) on the metal component. The overall optical response of the nanocomposite is governed by the refractive index of the dielectric matrix and the properties of the metallic nanoparticles in terms of their bulk optical properties, size, and shape, and the inter-particle distance of separation. In order to tune the film morphology and optical properties, complex synthesis processes which include multiple steps—i.e., film deposition followed by post-deposition treatment by thermal or laser annealing—are commonly employed. In the present study, we demonstrate that the absorption resonances of Ag/AlOxNy nanocomposite films can be effectively tuned from green (∼2.4 eV) to violet (∼2.8 eV) using a single-step synthesis process that is based on modulating the arrival pattern of film forming species with sub-monolayer resolution, while keeping the amount of Ag in the films constant. Our data indicate that the optical response of the films is the result of LSPRs on isolated Ag nanoparticles that are seemingly shifted by dipolar interactions between neighboring particles. The synthesis strategy presented may be of relevance for enabling integration of plasmonic nanocomposite films on thermally sensitive substrates.
Synthesis of tunable plasmonic metal-ceramic nanocomposite thin films by temporally modulated sputtered fluxes
D. Magnfält, E. Melander, R. D. Boyd, V. Kapaklis, K. Sarakinos; Synthesis of tunable plasmonic metal-ceramic nanocomposite thin films by temporally modulated sputtered fluxes. J. Appl. Phys. 7 May 2017; 121 (17): 171918. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4979139
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