A reactor based on the association of a pulsed laser nanoparticle source and a pulsed laser deposition process is presented. This process uses two independent nano-second pulsed lasers. The nanoparticle source, based on a quenching of a plasma plume, is accurately described. Nanoparticles produced by this dedicated laser-based source present intrinsically quasi-monodisperse size in the range of 1–10 nm. This monodispersity is essential to correlate nanoparticle size and related properties. For silver nanoparticles, a change in a characteristic parameter, the opening t-time of the quenching valve, (conditioning the species residence time) from 280 μs to 580 μs, leads to a nanoparticle size increase by a factor of about two (from 2.5 nm to 4.3 nm). Consequently, the size modulation allows the synthesis of nanoparticles and resulting nanocomposites which present drastically different properties. A kinetic model in good agreement with the experiment shows two nanoparticle growth modes, i.e., a monomer accretion and a cluster coagulation. Revealing the potential of the pulsed laser reactor, different nanocomposite materials constituted by Ag nanoparticles associated with oxide thin films (Al2O3, VO2) matrix are optically characterized. A surface plasmon resonance (λSPR) in the visible–near IR regime is evidenced, and huge modulation and tunability are obtained linked to the host matrix nature and nanocomposite architecture. Moreover, the metal insulator transition capacity of a vanadium dioxide matrix makes λSPR tunable as a function of temperature. This type of nanocomposite appears pertinent for their great potential in both nano-photonics and nano-sensors.

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