Reversible Tuning of Silver Quantum Dot Monolayers Through the Metal-Insulator Transition

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Science  26 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5334, pp. 1978-1981
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5334.1978

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The linear and nonlinear (χ(2)) optical responses of Langmuir monolayers of organically functionalized silver quantum dots were measured as a continuous function of interparticle separation under near-ambient conditions. As the distance between metal surfaces was decreased from 12 to ∼5 angstroms, both quantum and classical effects were observed in the optical signals. When the separation was less than 5 angstroms, the optical second-harmonic generation (SHG) response exhibited a sharp discontinuity, and the linear reflectance and absorbance began to resemble those of a thin metallic film, indicating that an insulator-to-metal transition occurred. This transition was reversible.

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