Optimized Electroless Silver Coating for Optical and Plasmonic Applications
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Electroless metal deposition is a simple and convenient technique to fabricate metallic films and to provide isotropic metal functionalization of 3D structures with complex geometries. In this work, we describe the synthesis of silver coatings by means of a modified Tollens reaction and their use as optical coating. The chemical composition of the metallization bath is here addressed to optimize the metal coating deposition. The synthesis parameters have been tailored in order to deposit very smooth films which were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and optical spectroscopy. 2D diffraction gratings and sinusoidal plasmonic gratings were produced with the proposed method. Optical characterization confirmed the plasmonic activities of the resultant structures, proving the efficiency of the described method for optical applications. Thermal annealing was found to improve the surface roughness of the coating and therefore the optical properties of the plasmonic gratings.
KeywordsSilver coating Electroless Plasmonic Grating
This work has been supported trough Progetto Strategico PLATFORMS of Padova University and 7FP EU Project—ORION #222517. Alessandro Martucci thanks Swinburne University visiting professor program. Min Gu acknowledges the support from the Australian Research Council (ARC) under the Centres of Excellence program and the Laureate Fellowship scheme (FL100100099). Baohua Jia thanks the ARC for the support through the APD grant DP0987006.
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