ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0429.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: laser ablation; noble-metal films; magnetron sputtering; nanosecond laser pulses; porous nanostructures; plasmonics; nanosponges
Online: 16 November 2020 (15:27:14 CET)
Three-dimensional porous nanostructures made of noble metals represent novel class of nanomaterials promising for nonlinear nanooptics and sensors. Such nanostructures are typically fabricated using either reproducible yet time-consuming and costly multi-step lithography protocols or less reproducible chemical synthesis that involve liquid processing with toxic compounds. Here, we combined scalable nanosecond-laser ablation with advanced engineering of the chemical composition of thin substrate-supported Au films to produce nanobumps containing multiple nanopores inside. Most of the nanopores hidden beneath the nanobump surface can be further uncapped using gentle etching of the nanobumps by an Ar-ion beam to form functional 3D plasmonic nanosponges. The nanopores 10-150~nm in diameter were found to appear via laser-induced explosive evaporation/boiling and coalescence of the randomly arranged nucleation sites formed by nitrogen-rich areas of the Au films. Density of the nanopores can be controlled by the amount of the nitrogen in the Au films regulated in the process of their magnetron sputtering assisted with nitrogen-containing discharge gas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0619.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings & Films Keywords: amorphous silicon; polycrystalline silicon; thin films; laser-induced annealing; femtosecond laser pulses; Raman spectroscopy
Online: 29 October 2020 (14:44:58 CET)
Amorphous silicon (α-Si) film present an inexpensive and promising material for optoelectronic and nanophotonic applications. Its basic optical and optoelectronic properties are known to be improved via phase transition from amorphous to polycrystalline phase. Infrared femtosecond laser radiation can be considered as a promising nondestructive and facile way to drive uniform in-depth and lateral crystallization of α-Si films that are typically opaque in UV-visible spectral range. However, so far only a few studies reported on utilization of near-IR radiation for laser-induced crystallization of α-Si providing no information regarding optical properties of the resultant polycrystalline Si films. The present work demonstrates efficient and gentle single-pass crystallization of α-Si films induced by their direct irradiation with near-IR femtosecond laser pulses coming at sub-MHz repetition rate. Comprehensive analysis of morphology and composition of laser-annealed films by atomic-force microscopy, optical, micro-Raman and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, as well as numerical modeling of optical spectra, confirmed efficient crystallization of α-Si and high-quality of the obtained films. Moreover, we highlight localized laser-driven crystallization of α-Si as a promising way for optical information encryption, anti-counterfeiting and fabrication of micro-optical elements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0307.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: direct femtosecond laser printing; nanovoid arrays; plasmonic sensors; refractive index and gas sensing
Online: 29 August 2019 (05:47:36 CEST)
We demonstrate a multi-purpose plasmonic sensor based on nanovoid array fabricated via inexpensive and highly reproducible direct femtosecond laser patterning of thin glass-supported Au films. The proposed nanovoid array exhibits near-IR surface plasmon (SP) resonances, which can be excited under normal incidence and optimised for specific application by tailoring array periodicity as well as nanovoid geometric shape. Fabricated SP sensor offers competitive sensitivity of about 1600 nm/RIU at a figure of merit of 12 in bulk refractive index tests, as well as allows for identification of gases and ultra-thin analyte layers making the sensor particularly useful for common bioassay experiments. Moreover, isolated nanovoids support strong electromagnetic field enhancement at lattice SP resonance wavelength, allowing for label-free molecular identification via surface-enhanced vibration spectroscopy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0022.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Optics Keywords: direct laser processing; femtosecond laser pulses; superhydrophobic textures; analyte enrichment; plasmonic nanostructures; SERS; medical drugs
Online: 3 December 2019 (11:19:55 CET)
We report an easy-to-implement device for SERS-based detection of various analytes dissolved in water droplets at trace concentrations. The device combines an analyte-enrichment system and SERS-active sensor site, both produced via inexpensive and high-performance direct fs-laser printing. Fabricated on a surface of water-repellent polytetrafluoroethylene substrate as an arrangement of micropillars, the analyte-enrichment system supports evaporating water droplet in the Cassie-Baxter superhydrophobic state, thus ensuring delivery of the dissolved analyte molecules towards the hydrophilic SERS-active site. The efficient pre-concentration of the analyte onto the sensor site based on densely-arranged spiky plasmonic nanotextures results in its subsequent label-free identification by means of SERS spectroscopy. Using the proposed device, we demonstrate reliable SERS-based fingerprinting of various analytes, including common organic dyes and medical drugs at ppb concentrations. The proposed device is believed to find applications in various areas, including label-free environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and forensics.