Towards stimuli-responsive functional nanocomposites: smart tunable plasmonic nanostructures Au-VO2
Kana, Jean Bosco Kana
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The fascinating optical properties of metallic nanostructures, dominated by collective oscillations of free electrons known as plasmons, open new opportunities for the development of devices fabrication based on noble metal nanoparticle composite materials. This thesis demonstrates a low-cost and versatile technique to produce stimuli-responsive ultrafast plasmonic nanostructures with reversible tunable optical properties. Albeit challenging, further control using thermal external stimuli to tune the local environment of gold nanoparticles embedded in VO2 host matrix would be ideal for the design of responsive functional nanocomposites. We prepared Au-VO2 nanocomposite thin films by the inverted cylindrical reactive magnetron sputtering (ICMS) known as hollow cathode magnetron sputtering for the first time and report the reversible tuning of surface plasmon resonance of Au nanoparticles by only adjusting the external temperature stimuli. The structural, morphological, interfacial analysis and optical properties of the optimized nanostructures have been studied. ICMS has been attracting much attention for its enclosed geometry and its ability to deposit on large area, uniform coating of smart nanocomposites at high deposition rate. Before achieving the aforementioned goals, a systematic study and optimization process of VO2 host matrix has been done by studying the influence of deposition parameters on the structural, morphological and optical switching properties of VO2 thin films. A reversible thermal tunability of the optical/dielectric constants of VO2 thin films by spectroscopic ellipsometry has been intensively also studied in order to bring more insights about the shift of the plasmon of gold nanoparticles imbedded in VO2 host matrix.