Sub-surface laser nanostructuring in stratified metal/dielectric media: A versatile platform towards flexible, durable and large-scale plasmonic writing

SIOZIOS, A., KALFAGIANNIS, N., BELLAS, D.V., BAZIOTI, C., DIMITRAKOPULOS, G.P., VOURLIAS, G., CRANTON, W.M., LIDORIKIS, E., KOUTSOGEORGIS, D.C. and PATSALAS, P. (2015). Sub-surface laser nanostructuring in stratified metal/dielectric media: A versatile platform towards flexible, durable and large-scale plasmonic writing. Nanotechnology, 26 (15), 1-10.

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Link to published version:: 10.1088/0957-4484/26/15/155301


Laser nanostructuring of pure ultrathin metal layers or ceramic/metal composite thin films has emerged as a promising route for the fabrication of plasmonic patterns with applications in information storage, cryptography, and security tagging. However, the environmental sensitivity of pure Ag layers and the complexity of ceramic/metal composite film growth hinder the implementation of this technology to large-scale production, as well as its combination with flexible substrates. In the present work we investigate an alternative pathway, namely, starting from non-plasmonic multilayer metal/dielectric layers, whose growth is compatible with large scale production such as in-line sputtering and roll-to-roll deposition, which are then transformed into plasmonic templates by single-shot UV-laser annealing (LA). This entirely cold, large-scale process leads to a subsurface nanoconstruction involving plasmonic Ag nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a hard and inert dielectric matrix on top of both rigid and flexible substrates. The subsurface encapsulation of Ag NPs provides durability and long-term stability, while the cold character of LA suits the use of sensitive flexible substrates. The morphology of the final composite film depends primarily on the nanocrystalline character of the dielectric host and its thermal conductivity. We demonstrate the emergence of a localized surface plasmon resonance, and its tunability depending on the applied fluence and environmental pressure. The results are well explained by theoretical photothermal modeling. Overall, our findings qualify the proposed process as an excellent candidate for versatile, large-scale optical encoding applications. Keywords : Ceramic materials; Composite films; Environmental technology; Film growth; Film preparation; Multilayer films; Multilayers; Nanocrystals; Optical data processing; Plasmons; Silver; Substrates; Surface plasmon resonance; Thin films; Ultrathin films, Laser annealing; Localised surface plasmon resonance; Multi-layer thin film; Nano-structuring; Plasmonics, Nanocomposite films

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Electronic Materials and Sensors Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1088/0957-4484/26/15/155301
Depositing User: Wayne Cranton
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 11:16
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 11:16

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