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Microwave-Assisted Growth of Silver Nanoparticle Films with Tunable Plasmon Properties and Asymmetrical Particle Geometry for Applications as Radiation Sensors

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We report a simple and fast microwave-assisted method to grow silver nanoparticle films with tunable plasmon resonance band. Microwaving time controls nucleation and growth as well as particle agglomeration, cluster formation, particle morphology, and the plasmonic properties. Films produced with times shorter than 30 s presented a single well-defined plasmon resonance band (~ 400 nm), whereas films produced with times longer than 40 s presented higher wavelength resonances modes (> 500 nm). Plasmon band position and intensity can be easily tuned by controlling microwaving time and power. SEM and AFM images suggested the growth of asymmetrical silver nanoparticles. Simulated extinction spectra considering particles as spheres, hemispheres, and spherical caps were performed. The films were employed to enhance the sensitivity of ionizing radiation detectors assessed by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) via plasmon-enhanced luminescence. By tuning the plasmon resonance band to overlap with the OSL stimulation (530 nm), luminescence enhancements of greater than 100-fold were obtained, demonstrating the importance of tuning the plasmon resonance band to maximize the OSL intensity and detector sensitivity. This versatile method to produce silver nanoparticle films with tunable plasmonic properties is a promising platform for developing small-sized radiation detectors and advanced sensing technologies.

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The authors thank L. Rocha and I. A. Borin for technical assistance and AFM imaging.


This work was supported by the Brazilian funding agencies FAPESP, CNPq (407471/2016-2 and 308604/2013-0), CAPES (EJG is a recipient of the PVE-USP-Capes Program fellowship, Finance code 001), and FAPESP 2013/07699-0.

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Guidelli, E.J., Araujo, L.F., Assunção, A.C.A. et al. Microwave-Assisted Growth of Silver Nanoparticle Films with Tunable Plasmon Properties and Asymmetrical Particle Geometry for Applications as Radiation Sensors. Plasmonics 15, 1551–1564 (2020).

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  • Film growth
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Optically stimulated luminescence
  • Metal enhanced luminescence
  • Dosimetry
  • SERS