Results on fabrication of Au nanostructures by laser ablation in open air are presented. The ablation of the Au target is performed in air environment by nanosecond laser pulses delivered by Nd:YAG laser system operated at λ = 355 nm. Due to the high density of the ambient atmosphere, the intensive collisions of the plume spices result in formation of nanoparticles and aggregates by condensation close to the target. The produced nanoagregates are deposited on a quartz substrate where grow in a specific nanostructure. Diagnostics of the laser-generated plasma for the laser fluences used in this study is performed. Study based on change of ambient conditions shows that the increase of the air pressure from 10 Torr to atmospheric one leads to transition from thin film to porous structures. It is found that the surface morphology of the structures produced by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in open air strongly depends on the substrate-target distance. The electrical properties of the obtained structures are studied by measurement of their electrical resistance. It is found that the conductivity of the structures strongly depends on their morphology. The fabricated structures have potential for application in the field of electronics and sensors.
Recently, an intensive research is carried out on plasmonic structures due to their potential application in many areas such as sensing, light harvesting and energy conversion and storage. In particular, a growing interest is observed in the Nanoparticle Over Mirror (NOM) structures for which the lithography and surface chemical functionalization represent the most popular production routes1. However, the application of those techniques is limited by the low efficacy, process complexity and chemical contamination of nanoparticles (NP). In this work, we report the contamination-free and low cost fabrication method of NOMs based on wet coating and ultrasonic-assisted nanocolloid drying process. The glass plates covered with magnetron sputtered 100 nm thick Au film and subsequently with Al2O3 layers (6 – 36 nm) by means of pulsed laser deposition are used as substrates. Au NPs are produced in the form of colloidal suspension by means of laser ablation in water using the 1064 nm, 6 ns Nd:YAG laser. The NOM synthesis is finalized by imposing of the Au NP suspension onto the as prepared Au-Al2O3/glass substrates and dried. To avoid NP agglomeration, the wet coated substrates are sonicated using 20W, 20 kHz ultrasound generator. SEM inspection of the obtained NOM structures confirms the positive sonication effect, i.e. the presence of agglomerate-free, homogenous layers. These consist of NPs (36 nm average diameter) which are characterized by the resonance absorption band at 528 nm. For NOM structures the UV-vis spectra reveal increased infrared activity and peak shift in agreement with theoretical modeling2. The NOM structure characterization is completed by analysis of the SEM and profilometry measurement results.
In this work laser-assisted methods for metal nanostructures formation and their application as active substrates in Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy are presented. The nanostructures are fabricated by laser processing of gold thin films deposited on low cost substrates as glass, ceramic, polymer and paper. The films are deposited by classical PLD technology. The produced films are then processed by nanosecond pulses delivered by nanosecond Nd:YAG laser system. At certain conditions the laser treatment leads to formation of discrete nanostructure on the substrate surface. Femtosecond Pulsed Laser Deposition in air is also applied for direct deposition of gold nanostructure. In another set of experiments gold nanoparticle colloids are fabricated by laser ablation of gold target in chloroform. The fabricated structures are then tested as active systems in SERS, as detection of pesticides (DDT), nitrates (NH4NO3), and drugs (Methylene blue) is demonstrated. The obtained results show that these nanostructures can be efficiently used in the detection and monitoring of materials with a high social impact.
In this paper we show an experimental procedure for fabrication of metal nanoparticle arrays on metal substrates. The nanostructures are fabricated by laser processing of thin metal films. The films are deposited on the metal substrates by classical PLD technology. The as deposited films are then annealed by nanosecond pulses delivered from a THG Nd:YAG laser system (λ = 355 nm). At certain conditions, the laser treatment leads to a formation of discrete nanoparticle structure on the substrate surface. The optical properties of samples fabricated at different conditions and having different characteristics of the nanostructures are examined by optical spectroscopy measurement. Such analysis shows that the optical spectra of the obtained nanostructures are characterized by plasmon excitation. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) model is used for theoretical description of the near field optical properties of the fabricated nanoparticle arrays. The simulation demonstrates high efficiency of the fabricated structures in enhancement of the near field intensity. The great enhancement observed in the Raman spectra of Rhodamine 6G deposited on the fabricated samples makes such structures very appropriate for applications in Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The produced systems can be also applied in plasmonic solar cells (PSC).
In this paper results on laser nanostructuring of Au/Ag and Au/Ni thin films are presented. The nanostructuring leads to formation of arrays of bimetallic nanoparticles. The fabrication of the these structures is made using a two step procedure. Initially, thin films are deposited on quartz substrates by classical pulsed laser deposition method. In order to produce Au/Ag or Au/Ni thin films, targets with two sections consist the different metals are used. Thin films with different concentrations of the two metals are obtained by changing the area of the different sections in the target. The as prepared films are then annealed by nanosecond laser pulses delivered by Nd:YAG laser system operated at λ = 355 nm. It is found that the laser annealing may lead to nanostructuring of the deposited films as at certain conditions decomposition into monolayers of nanoparticles with narrow size distribution is obtained. The performed EDX analyses indicate that the fabricated particles are composed by a bimetallic system of the basic metals used. The transmission spectra of the obtained structures show evidences of plasmon excitations. The bimetal nanostructures are covered with Rhodamine 6G and then tested as active substrates for Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS).
Theoretical analysis on the electromagnetic field properties in vicinity of noble metal nanostructures is presented. The study is done on the basis of numerical simulation using Finite Difference Time Domain approach. The systems under consideration are two- and three-dimensional arrays composed of gold or silver nanoparticles. The near field intensity distribution and its enhancement are calculated for structures with different characteristics – particle size, inter-particle distance, and at different conditions related to the incident irradiation – polarization, and geometry of excitation. This analysis is used for definition of some optimal parameters for such structures from the viewpoint of application in Surface Enhancement Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). It is shown that the manipulation of the geometry of excitation of the nanoparticle system could be used as a crucial parameter for improving the efficiency of the classical configuration in SERS. The predicted influences of the nanoparticle system properties on the Raman signal enhancement are confirmed experimentally.