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Open AccessArticle

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

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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
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Laboratory of Solid State Physics and Magnetism, Department of Physics and Astronomy, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
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EMAT University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(12), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7120442
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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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MDPI and ACS Style

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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