LASER-PLASMON - Laser Manipulation of Plasmonic Nanostructures
Unit(s) of assessment: General Engineering
School: School of Science and Technology
Funding scheme: LASER-PLASMON project receives funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA agreement no. PIEF-GA-2012-330444.
Duration: 24 months (start date: 1 May 2013)
LASER-PLASMON is a Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship (FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF) project that deals with the LASER processing (and in particular laser nano-structuring) of metals and metal/dielectric complexes. The main research topic lies on the cutting-edge field of plasmonics.
Plasmonics has developed into a rapidly maturing and broad research field, and it is progressively becoming an enabling technology for a number of forefront research areas like photovoltaics, chemical and biological sensing, medical therapy, information technology and others. However the fabrication of plasmonic devices is technically challenged because:
- a technique for precise control over the plasmon features has not been developed yet
- there is an engineering difficulty of delivering sharp nano-sized interfaces between metal and dielectrics
- there is, up to date, a lack of simultaneous atomic-scale control and large-scale character,- current literature is lacking a systematic experimental study, which creates a lack of feedback to technology for successful plasmonic large-scale applications.
This project aims to address the hurdles mentioned above, through a wise implementation of a processing technique that can be easily adopted in industry. This technique is Laser Annealing (LA), the process of irradiating a material to instantly alter its structure and properties. LA has already been demonstrated [1-3] to be a viable method for creating plasmonic systems, but with this project we aim at materialising its potential as a highly promising innovation in the field of plasmonics.
The objectives of LASER-PLASMON are:
- to develop and optimize seed materials for plasmonic nanostructures
- to identify the most appropriate LA system design and LA processing parameters
- to investigate the underlying mechanisms that govern the alteration of the NPs and their surrounding environment's structure and opto-electronic properties
- to deliver the currently missing link between materials, deposition techniques and LA process parameters, by means of an experimental library that would facilitate the future development of plasmonic applications.
Through the successful implementation of the project objectives we seek to establish the LA process as a tool for nanostructuring of metals and metal / dielectric complexes and create an experimental library of materials and processes that will be suitable for plasmonic applications.
1. Influence of laser annealing on the structural properties of sputtered AlN:Ag plasmonic nanocomposites.
C. Bazioti, G.P. Dimitrakopulos, Th. Kehagias, Ph. Komninou, A. Siozios, E. Lidorikis, D.C. Koutsogeorgis, and P. Patsalas
J. Mater. Sci., DOI 10.1007/s10853-014-8044-3
2. Growth and annealing strategies to control the microstructure of AlN:Ag nanocomposite films for plasmonic applications.
A. Siozios, H. Zoubos, N. Pliatsikas, D.C. Koutsogeorgis, G. Vourlias, E. Pavlidou, W. Cranton, P. Patsalas
Surf. Coat. Technol., DOI 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2013.11.025
3. Optical encoding by Plasmon-Based patterning: Hard and Inorganic materials become photosensitive.
A. Siozos, D.C. Koutsogeorgis, E. Lidorikis, G.P. Dimitrakopulos, Th. Kehagias, H. Zoubos, Ph. Komninou, W.M. Cranton, C. Kosmidis and P. Patsalas
Nano Lett. 12 (1), 259-263 (2012).
- Scientist in Charge: Dr. Demosthenes Koutsogeorgis, Reader of Photonic Technologies, Nottingham Trent University, UK
- Researcher: Dr. Nikolaos Kalfagiannis, Senior Marie-Curie Fellow, Nottingham Trent University, UK
LASER-PLASMON is an individual fellowship from the Marie Curie IEF scheme, however, there is a strong collaboration with the following people / groups:
- Panagiotis Patsalas, Associate Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Physics, Greece.
- Elefterios Lidorikis, Associate Professor, University of Ioannina, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Greece
- Leon Bowen, Durham GJ Russell Microscopy Facility, Durham University, UK
Given the successful implementation of the methodologies proposed regarding the adaptation of Laser Annealing (LA) for the adequate manipulation of Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR), the technological profits of LASER-PLASMON are expected to be significant. In particular, the successful implementation of LA is envisioned to have a great appeal in industry, as a disruptive platform technology. LA is a ‘cold', ‘rapid', versatile, flexible and cheap method able to produce reliable plasmonic systems  and has not entered yet the industrial arena. A subsequent large-scale integration would result in the commercialization of plasmonic products, which would benefit the EU in a community level and contribute positively in the competitiveness of Europe with other continents, such as the America's where great effort and re-sources are invested in this field.
We are always interested in forming new collaborations with any end user that requires the use of plasmonic nanoparticles in their systems. Our platform technology allows for fabricating layers of nanoparticles in complex structures forming optical, electronic or electrical thin film devices.
 A. Siozios et. al. Nano Let. 12, 259 (2012).
LASER-PLASMON is based in the iSMART facility, in the School of Science and Technology that offers a range of materials deposition, processing and characterisation services to industry and academia.
- Class 100 Clean Room
- Deposition Techniques:
- RF Magnetron Sputtering
- Thermal Evaporation
- Photonic Processing Techniques:
- Excimer laser sources (ns): ArF (193 nm) and KrF (248 nm)
- Nd:YAG laser (ps, ns): 1054 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm, 266 nm
- Excimer Lamp (172 nm)
- Thin Film Metrolgy:
- Scanning Electron Microscopy
- Optical Reflectance Spectroscopy
- Luminescent characterization
- 3D Optical profilometer