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ACS Nano. 2014 Jan 28;8(1):834-40. doi: 10.1021/nn405495q. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Aluminum for plasmonics.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, ‡Department of Physics and Astronomy, §Department of Chemistry, and ⊥Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Rice University , Houston, Texas 77005, United States.


Unlike silver and gold, aluminum has material properties that enable strong plasmon resonances spanning much of the visible region of the spectrum and into the ultraviolet. This extended response, combined with its natural abundance, low cost, and amenability to manufacturing processes, makes aluminum a highly promising material for commercial applications. Fabricating Al-based nanostructures whose optical properties correspond with theoretical predictions, however, can be a challenge. In this work, the Al plasmon resonance is observed to be remarkably sensitive to the presence of oxide within the metal. For Al nanodisks, we observe that the energy of the plasmon resonance is determined by, and serves as an optical reporter of, the percentage of oxide present within the Al. This understanding paves the way toward the use of aluminum as a low-cost plasmonic material with properties and potential applications similar to those of the coinage metals.


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