Temperature-dependent morphology evolution and surface plasmon absorption of ultrathin gold island films

Hongtao Sun, Mingpeng Yu, Gongkai Wang, Xiang Sun, Jie Lian

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Ultrathin gold island films on transparent substrates display a characteristic surface plasmon (SP) absorption band in which the peak position and full width at half-maximum (fwhm) are highly sensitive to the film morphology. In the present study, we investigated the temperature dependence of morphological evolution and the corresponding unique surface plasmon resonance (SPR) properties variation of the ultrathin gold island films (5 nm nominal thickness) upon rapid thermal annealing for 180 s at different temperatures ranging from 100 to 700 °C. The morphological evolution of the ultrathin gold film upon the thermal annealing-induced dewetting was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), and the optical properties variation was characterized by a transmission UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy. A strong temperature dependence of morphological evolution and optical properties variation as a function of thermal treatment conditions was identified. The blue shift and band narrowing of the SP absorption band can be correlated with various morphological characteristics, e.g., the increased open area fraction of island films, average separation between islands or nanoparticles (NPs) and the decreased aspect ratio (length divided by width) upon increasing thermal treatment temperatures. The temperature dependence of the transmission localized surface plasmon resonance (T-LSPR) may enable a science-based design of optical sensing and dynamic thermal sensors upon the morphological manipulation of ultrathin metallic surface nanostructures by thermal dewetting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9000-9008
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 26 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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