Optical response of nanostructured metal/dielectric composites and multilayers

International Society for Optical Engneering
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Complex Mediums V: Light and Complexity: Proceedings of SPIE Vol 5508, 2004, pp. 192 - 205
Issue Date:
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The homogeneous optical response in conducting nanostructured layers, and in insulating layers containing dense arrays of self assembled conducting nanoparticles separated by organic linkers, is examined experimentally through their effective complex indices (n*, k*). Classical effective medium models, modified to account for the 3-phase nanostructure, are shown to explain (n*, k*) in dense particulate systems but not inhomogeneous layers with macroscopic conductance for which a different approach to homogenisation is discussed. (n*, k*) data on thin granular metal films, thin mesoporous gold, and on thin metal layers containing ordered arrays of voids, is linked to properties of the surface plasmon states which span the nanostructured film. Coupling between evanescent waves at either surface counterbalanced by electron scattering losses must be considered. Virtual bound states for resonant photons result, with the associated transit delay leading to a large rise in n* in many nanostructures. Overcoating n-Ag with alumina is shown to alter (n*, k*) through its impact on the SP coupling. In contrast to classical optical homogenisation, effective indices depend on film thickness. Supporting high resolution SEM images are presented.
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