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M. Torrell, R. Kabir, L. Cunha, M. I. Vasilevskiy, F. Vaz, A. Cavaleiro, E. Alves, N. P. Barradas

Tuning of the surface plasmon resonance in TiO2/Au thin films grown by magnetron sputtering: The effect of thermal annealing

Journal of Applied Physics 109 (2011) 074310

Nanocomposites consisting of a dielectric matrix, such as TiO2, with embedded noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) possess specific optical properties due to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect, interesting for several applications. The aim of this work is to demonstrate that these properties are sensitive to the nanostructure of magnetron-sputtered TiO2/Au thin films, which can be tuned by annealing. We study the role of the shape and size distribution of the NPs, as well as the influence of the crystallinity and phase composition of the host matrix on the optical response of the films. All these characteristics can be modified by vacuum annealing treatments of the deposited films. A theoretical interpretation and modeling of the experimental results obtained is presented. The model involves a modified Maxwell-Garnett approach for the effective dielectric function of the composite (describing the SPR effect) and the transfer matrix formalism for multilayer optics. Input data are based on the experimental information obtained from the detailed structural characterization of the films. It is shown that the annealing treatments can be used for controlling the optical properties of the composite films, making them attractive for decorative coatings.

Cited Articles

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