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Proceedings Paper

Design and optimization of plasmonic-based metal-dielectric nanocomposite materials for energy applications
Author(s): Justin Trice; Christopher Favazza; Radhakrishna Sureshkumar; Hernando Garcia; Ramki Kalyanaraman
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Paper Abstract

Metallic nanoparticles embedded in dielectrics permit enhanced capture absorption and/or scattering of light at specific wavelengths through excitation of plasmons, i.e. the quanta of coherent and collective oscillations of large concentrations of nearly free electrons. In order to maximize the potential of such enhanced absorption in useful tasks, such as the generation of carriers in photocatalysts and semiconductors, it is important to be able to predict and design plasmonic nanocomposites with desired wavelength-dependent optical absorption. Recently, a mixing approach formulated by Garcia and co-workers [Phys. Rev. B, 75, 045439 (2007)] has been successfully applied to model the experimentally measured broadband optical absorption for ternary nanocomposites containing alloys or mixtures of two metals (from Ag, Au or Cu) in SiO2 dielectric. In this work we present the broadband optical behavior of an important an optical coating dielectric, Si3N4, containing various configuration of nanoparticles of Al, Au, Ag, or Cu. The spectral behavior of various combinations of the metallic species in the dielectrics was optimized to show either broadband solar absorption or strong multiple plasmonic absorption peaks. The applications of such nanocomposite materials in solar energy harvesting and spectral sensing are also presented and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 2008
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7030, Nanophotonic Materials V, 70300M (4 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.795185
Show Author Affiliations
Justin Trice, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Christopher Favazza, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Hernando Garcia, Southern Illinois Univ. (United States)
Ramki Kalyanaraman, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7030:
Nanophotonic Materials V
Zeno Gaburro; Stefano Cabrini; Dmitri Talapin, Editor(s)

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