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Nanotechnology. 2011 Apr 8;22(14):145303. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/14/145303. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Direct writing of large-area plasmonic photonic crystals using single-shot interference ablation.

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Institute of Information Photonics Technology and College of Applied Sciences, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, People's Republic of China.


We report direct writing of metallic photonic crystals (MPCs) through a single-shot exposure of a thin film of colloidal gold nanoparticles to the interference pattern of a single UV laser pulse before a subsequent annealing process. This is defined as interference ablation, where the colloidal gold nanoparticles illuminated by the bright interference fringes are removed instantly within a timescale of about 6 ns, which is actually the pulse length of the UV laser, whereas the gold nanoparticles located within the dark interference fringes remain on the substrate and form grating structures. This kind of ablation has been proven to have a high spatial resolution and thus enables successful fabrication of waveguided MPC structures with the optical response in the visible spectral range. The subsequent annealing process transforms the grating structures consisting of ligand-covered gold nanoparticles into plasmonic MPCs. The annealing temperature is optimized to a range from 250 to 300 °C to produce MPCs of gold nanowires with a period of 300 nm and an effective area of 5 mm in diameter. If the sample of the spin-coated gold nanoparticles is rotated by 90° after the first exposure, true two-dimensional plasmonic MPCs are produced through a second exposure to the interference pattern. Strong plasmonic resonance and its coupling with the photonic modes of the waveguided MPCs verifies the success of this new fabrication technique. This is the simplest and most efficient technique so far for the construction of large-area MPC devices, which enables true mass fabrication of plasmonic devices with high reproducibility and high success rate.

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