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Novel Method of Preparation of Gold-Nanoparticle-Doped TiO2 and SiO2 Plasmonic Thin Films: Optical Characterization and Comparison with Maxwell–Garnett Modeling

Authors

  • Esteban Pedrueza,

    1. UMDO (Unidad Asociada al CSIC-IMM), Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
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  • José L. Valdés,

    1. UMDO (Unidad Asociada al CSIC-IMM), Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
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  • Vladimir Chirvony,

    1. UMDO (Unidad Asociada al CSIC-IMM), Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
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  • Rafael Abargues,

    1. UMDO (Unidad Asociada al CSIC-IMM), Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
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  • Jesús Hernández-Saz,

    1. Departamento de Ciencia de los Materiales e I. M. y Q. I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Cádiz, Campus Río San Pedro, s/n, 11510 Puerto Real (Cádiz), Spain
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  • Miriam Herrera,

    1. Departamento de Ciencia de los Materiales e I. M. y Q. I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Cádiz, Campus Río San Pedro, s/n, 11510 Puerto Real (Cádiz), Spain
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  • Sergio I. Molina,

    1. Departamento de Ciencia de los Materiales e I. M. y Q. I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Cádiz, Campus Río San Pedro, s/n, 11510 Puerto Real (Cádiz), Spain
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  • Juan P. Martínez-Pastor

    Corresponding author
    1. UMDO (Unidad Asociada al CSIC-IMM), Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain
    • UMDO (Unidad Asociada al CSIC-IMM), Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain.
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Abstract

SiO2 and TiO2 thin films with gold nanoparticles (NPs) are of particular interest as photovoltaic materials. A novel method for the preparation of spin-coated SiO2–Au and TiO2–Au nanocomposites is presented. This fast and inexpensive method, which includes three separate stages, is based on the in situ synthesis of both the metal-oxide matrix and the Au NPs during a baking process at relatively low temperature. It allows the formation of nanocomposite thin films with a higher concentration of Au NPs than other methods. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies revealed a homogeneous distribution of NPs over the film volume along with their narrow size distribution. The optical manifestation of localized surface plasmon resonance was studied in more detail for TiO2-based Au-doped nanocomposite films deposited on glass (in absorption and transmittance) and silicon (in specular reflectance). Maxwell–Garnett effective-medium theory applied to such metal-doped nanocomposite films describes the peculiarities of the experimental spectra, including modification of the antireflective properties of bare TiO2 films deposited on silicon by varying the concentration of metal NPs. The antireflective capabilities of the film are increased after a wet etching process.

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