Thin films composed of Au nanoparticles embedded in AlN: Influence of metal concentration and thermal annealing on the LSPR band


Nanocomposite thin films, with noble nanoparticles dispersed in a dielectric matrix, are known to present unique optical properties. Based on the Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) phenomenon, these "nanoplasmonic" materials are the basis of a wide range of technological applications, namely (bio)molecular LSPR-sensors. They are regulated by the concentration, size, shape and distribution of the nanoparticles and dielectric environment properties. In this work, the possibility of using aluminium nitride (AlN) as a host dielectric matrix for LSPR films was evaluated. For this purpose, nanocomposite Au:AlN films were prepared by magnetron sputtering, followed by thermal annealing to promote the growth of the nanoparticles. Three sets of films were deposited with atomic Au concentrations of 2.2, 4.4 and 6.0 at.%. LSPR bands appeared from the temperature of 500 degrees C, with resonance positions of 520-540 nm. The films showed potential to be tested in LSPR-sensing applications due to their optical responses.




Materials Science; Physics


Domingues, RP; Rodrigues, MS; Proenca, M; Costa, D; Alves, E; Barradas, NP; Oliveira, FJ; Silva, RF; Borges, J; Vaz, F

nossos autores


This work is financed by National Funds through FCT - Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology, in the framework of the project PTDC/FIS-NAN/1154/2014 (FCT Projet 9471-RIDTI Reforcar a Investigacao, o Desenvolvitnento Tecnologico e a Inovactio), co-financed by FEDER (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016902). This research was also sponsored by FCT in the framework of the Strategic Funding UID/FIS/04650/2013. The authors also acknowledge project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. Joel Borges acknowledges FCT for his Post-Doc Grant SFRH/BPD/117010/2016, Marco S. Rodrigues acknowledges his PhD-Grant from FCT, with reference SFRH/BD/118684/2016. The authors also acknowledge P. Pedrosa from Institut FEMTO-ST, Universite Bourgogne Franche-Comte, Besancon, France, for SEM analysis.

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