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Langmuir. 2009 Jan 20;25(2):924-30. doi: 10.1021/la802678y.

Plasmonic gallium nanoparticles on polar semiconductors: interplay between nanoparticle wetting, localized surface plasmon dynamics, and interface charge.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.


Ga nanoparticles supported on large band gap semiconductors like SiC, GaN, and ZnO are interesting for plasmon-enhanced UV-emitting solid-state devices. We investigate the influence of the polarity of the SiC, GaN, and ZnO wurtzite semiconductors on the wetting of Ga nanoparticles and on the resulting surface plasmon resonance (SPR) by exploiting real time plasmonic ellipsometry. The interface potential between polar semiconductors (SiC, GaN, and ZnO) and plasmonic nanoparticles (gallium) is shown to influence nanoparticle formation dynamics, geometry, and consequently the SPR wavelength. We invoke the Lippman electrowetting framework to elucidate the mechanisms controlling nanoparticle dynamics and experimentally demonstrate that the charge transfer at the Ga nanoparticle/polar semiconductor interface is an intrinsic method for tailoring the nanoparticle plasmon resonance. Therefore, the present data demonstrate that for supported nanoparticles, surface and interface piezoelectric charge of polar semiconductors also affects SPR along with the well-known effect of the media refractive index.

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