Structure of plasmonic aerogel and the breakdown of the effective medium approximation

Michael D W Grogan, Susannah C Heck, Katie M Hood, Stefan A Maier, Timothy A Birks

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A method for making aerogel doped with gold nanoparticles (GNPs) produces a composite material with a well-defined localized surface plasmon resonance peak at 520 nm. The width of the extinction feature indicates the GNPs are well dispersed in the aerogel, making it suited to optical study. A simple effective medium approximation cannot explain the peak extinction wavelengths. The plasmonic field extends on a scale where aerogel cannot be considered isotropic, so a new model is required: a 5nm glass coating on the GNPs models the extinction spectrum of the composite material, with air (aerogel), methanol (alcogel), or toluene filling the pores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-360
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


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