Materials Science

Tuning Plasmons

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Science  16 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6049, pp. 1551
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6049.1551-c

Shifts in localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) are often associated with analytical techniques—for example, monitoring the adsorption of molecules on gold thin films. Semiconductor nanoparticles can also exhibit LSPRs that can be tuned with changes in composition. Indium tin oxide (ITO) nanoparticles are transparent at visible wavelengths but can have LSPRs at near-infrared wavelengths. Garcia et al. were able to tune the LSPR of thin films of tin-doped ITO nanoparticles. The as-synthesized nanoparticles were coated with oleic acid, which would inhibit electrical contact between them, but after thin films were deposited, the coating was exchanged with formic acid. This thinner coating enabled electrochemical doping that could shift the LSPR to render previously transparent films strongly absorbing in the near-infrared. The authors suggest that such effects could be useful for controlling thermal transport in applications such as smart windows.

Nano Lett. 11, 10.1021/nl202597n (2011).

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