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Open AccessArticle

Dewetting Metal Nanofilms—Effect of Substrate on Refractive Index Sensitivity of Nanoplasmonic Gold

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Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC), School of Engineering, Ulster University, Shore Road, Jordanstown BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland, UK
2
Seagate Technology LLC, 7801 Computer Ave, Bloomington, MN 55435, USA
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Energy Efficiency Materials Center, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology, 101 Soho-Ro, Jinju-Si, Gyeongsangnam-Do 52851, Korea
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Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Onna, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan
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Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
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Fibrous Ceramics and Aerospace Materials Center, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology, 101 Soho-Ro, Jinju-Si, Gyeongsangnam-Do 52851, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1530; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111530
Received: 24 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 27 October 2019
The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensitivity of metal nanostructures is strongly dependent on the interaction between the supporting substrate and the metal nanostructure, which may cause a change in the local refractive index of the metal nanostructure. Among various techniques used for the development of LSPR chip preparation, solid-state dewetting of nanofilms offers fast and cost effective methods to fabricate large areas of nanostructures on a given substrate. Most of the previous studies have focused on the effect of the size, shape, and inter-particle distance of the metal nanostructures on the LSPR sensitivity. In this work, we reveal that the silicon-based supporting substrate influences the LSPR associated refractive index sensitivity of gold (Au) nanostructures designed for sensing applications. Specifically, we develop Au nanostructures on four different silicon-based ceramic substrates (Si, SiO2, Si3N4, SiC) by thermal dewetting process and demonstrate that the dielectric properties of these ceramic substrates play a key role in the LSPR-based refractive index (RI) sensitivity of the Au nanostructures. Among these Si-supported Au plasmonic refractive index (RI) sensors, the Au nanostructures on the SiC substrates display the highest average RI sensitivity of 247.80 nm/RIU, for hemispherical Au nanostructures of similar shapes and sizes. Apart from the significance of this work towards RI sensing applications, our results can be advantageous for a wide range of applications where sensitive plasmonic substrates need to be incorporated in silicon based optoelectronic devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: dewetting; metal nanofilm; localized surface plasmonic resonance; refractive index sensitivity dewetting; metal nanofilm; localized surface plasmonic resonance; refractive index sensitivity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bhalla, N.; Jain, A.; Lee, Y.; Shen, A.Q.; Lee, D. Dewetting Metal Nanofilms—Effect of Substrate on Refractive Index Sensitivity of Nanoplasmonic Gold. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1530.

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