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Nat Commun. 2014 Mar 4;5:3402. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4402.

Laser printing of silicon nanoparticles with resonant optical electric and magnetic responses.

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Nanotechnology Department, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Hollerithallee 8, D-30419 Hannover, Germany.


Silicon nanoparticles with sizes of a few hundred nanometres exhibit unique optical properties due to their strong electric and magnetic dipole responses in the visible range. Here we demonstrate a novel laser printing technique for the controlled fabrication and precise deposition of silicon nanoparticles. Using femtosecond laser pulses it is possible to vary the size of Si nanoparticles and their crystallographic phase. Si nanoparticles produced by femtosecond laser printing are initially in an amorphous phase (a-Si). They can be converted into the crystalline phase (c-Si) by irradiating them with a second femtosecond laser pulse. The resonance-scattering spectrum of c-Si nanoparticles, compared with that of a-Si nanoparticles, is blue shifted and its peak intensity is about three times higher. Resonant optical responses of dielectric nanoparticles are characterized by accumulation of electromagnetic energy in the excited modes, which can be used for the realization of nanoantennas, nanolasers and metamaterials.


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