The plasmon resonance of a structure is primarily dictated by its optical properties and geometry, which can be modified to enable hot-carrier photodetectors with superior performance. Recently, metal alloys have played a prominent role in tuning the resonance of plasmonic structures through chemical composition engineering. However, it has been unclear how alloying modifies the time dynamics of the generated hot-carriers. In this work, we elucidate the role of chemical composition on the relaxation time of hot-carriers for the archetypal AuxAg1−xthin film system. Through time-resolved optical spectroscopy measurements in the visible wavelength range, we measure composition-dependent relaxation times that vary up to 8× for constant pump fluency. Surprisingly, we find that the addition of 2% of Ag into Au films can increase the hot-carrier lifetime by approximately 35% under fixed fluence, as a result of a decrease in optical loss. Further, the relaxation time is found to be inversely proportional to the imaginary part of the permittivity. Our results indicate that alloying is a promising approach to effectively control hot-carrier relaxation time in metals.
The nanomaterial landscape is so vast that a high-throughput combinatorial approach is required to understand structure–function relationships. To address this challenge, an approach for the synthesis and screening of megalibraries of unique nanoscale features (>10,000,000) with tailorable location, size, and composition has been developed. Polymer pen lithography, a parallel lithographic technique, is combined with an ink spray-coating method to create pen arrays, where each pen has a different but deliberately chosen quantity and composition of ink. With this technique, gradients of Au-Cu bimetallic nanoparticles have been synthesized and then screened for activity by in situ Raman spectroscopy with respect to single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) growth. Au3Cu, a composition not previously known to catalyze SWNT growth, has been identified as the most active composition.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- p. 40-45
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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