Self-organized ordered silver nanoparticle arrays obtained by solid state dewetting
Spontaneous dewetting of a silver layer on a templated silica substrate is proposed as a promising low-cost process to produce self-organized metallic nanostructures. Periodic gratings with inverted pyramid pattern and periods ranging from 200 to 1000 nm are fabricated by nanoimprint on a sol-gel silica layer. A silver layer is then deposited on the templated substrate by magnetron sputtering and annealed to form an array of well-organized islands by solid-state dewetting. The resulting islands are shown to have reduced diameter and size dispersion compared to arrays obtained in the same conditions on flat substrates. The density of defects in the periodic array is determined as a function of silver layer thickness and is lower than 10% in optimal conditions. Optical transmission spectra of periodic arrays are measured, showing extinction peaks that can be related to plasmon resonance. This resonance can be tuned by adjusting the period and particle diameter. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.