Bottom-up approach to the formation of bi-resonant glass-metal nanocomposite

Physical materials technology

We demonstrate the bottom-up approach to the formation of a glass-metal nanocomposite. The approach is based on simultaneous diffusion of different metal ions in glass and the self-assembly of the reduced ions with the formation of metal nanoparticles. In particularly, the approach includes: sputtering of silver and gold thin films on the surface of the glass, embedding of silver and gold ions in glass via field-assisted ion-exchange (applying DC voltage to metal films) and annealing of the ions-enriched glass at the temperature above the glass transition temperature. The formed nanocomposite is glass substrate with the buried layers of gold and silver nanoparticles, which is characterized by two distinct optical resonances (bi-resonant nanocomposite). The influence of the parameters of the ion exchange (thickness of metal films, ratio of the metals, and applied voltage) and annealing (temperature and duration) on the formation of silver and gold nanoparticles and optical properties of the glass-metal nanocomposite is considered.