Journal article

Embedded layer of Ag nanoparticles prepared by a combined PECVD/PVD process producing SiO xC y-Ag nanocomposite thin films

Structural properties of SiO xC y-Ag nanocomposite thin films prepared by a dual process PVD-PECVD in the same reactor have been investigated. The experimental results have demonstrated the influence of a PECVD process carried out at room temperature for the growth of a dielectric matrix on the size and the distribution density of Ag nanoparticles (NPs) deposited beforehand by magnetron sputtering. The plasma during the growth of the encapsulation SiO xC y layer caused a diffusion of silver from NPs through the SiO xC y matrix associated with a decrease in the average size of nanoparticles and an increase of their distribution density. Silver diffusion is blocked at a barrier interface to form a buried layer of individual Ag NPs which, for instance, can find plasmonic applications. Silver also diffuses toward the outer surface inducing antibacterial properties. In both cases initial Ag NPs act as reservoirs for multifunctional properties of advanced nanostructured films.


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