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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(12), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7120442

Exploring the Optical and Morphological Properties of Ag and Ag/TiO2 Nanocomposites Grown by Supersonic Cluster Beam Deposition

1
Interdisciplinary Laboratories for Advanced Materials Physics (i-LAMP) and Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Musei 41, 25121 Brescia, Italy
2
Laboratory of Solid State Physics and Magnetism, Department of Physics and Astronomy, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
3
EMAT University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract

Nanocomposite systems and nanoparticle (NP) films are crucial for many applications and research fields. The structure-properties correlation raises complex questions due to the collective structure of these systems, often granular and porous, a crucial factor impacting their effectiveness and performance. In this framework, we investigate the optical and morphological properties of Ag nanoparticles (NPs) films and of Ag NPs/TiO2 porous matrix films, one-step grown by supersonic cluster beam deposition. Morphology and structure of the Ag NPs film and of the Ag/TiO2 (Ag/Ti 50-50) nanocomposite are related to the optical properties of the film employing spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE). We employ a simple Bruggeman effective medium approximation model, corrected by finite size effects of the nano-objects in the film structure to gather information on the structure and morphology of the nanocomposites, in particular porosity and average NPs size for the Ag/TiO2 NP film. Our results suggest that SE is a simple, quick and effective method to measure porosity of nanoscale films and systems, where standard methods for measuring pore sizes might not be applicable. View Full-Text
Keywords: spectroscopic ellipsometry; metal and metal/oxide nanoparticles; supersonic cluster beam deposition; porosity; AFM; HAADF-STEM spectroscopic ellipsometry; metal and metal/oxide nanoparticles; supersonic cluster beam deposition; porosity; AFM; HAADF-STEM
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cavaliere, E.; Benetti, G.; Van Bael, M.; Winckelmans, N.; Bals, S.; Gavioli, L. Exploring the Optical and Morphological Properties of Ag and Ag/TiO2 Nanocomposites Grown by Supersonic Cluster Beam Deposition. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 442.

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