Abstract

It has been demonstrated recently that silver nanoparticles embedded in a glass matrix can be dissolved by the combination of an intense dc electric field and moderately elevated temperature. In an intermediate state of this process percolated silver layers inside the glass can also occur. These structural modifications significantly modify the optical behavior of the glass, suggesting an interesting perspective for the engineering of optical properties of this kind of metallodielectric materials. We present the optical characterization of silver-doped glasses subjected to the electric-field-assisted dissolution of nanoparticles. The characterization is performed by means of fitting spectrophotometric measurements. The optical properties of the investigated samples are described in terms of the interference between the light reflected from the glass surface and the light reflected from a buried silver-containing layer formed in the depths of the glass. The analysis of the data reveals a porosity of the glass in the region where the nanoparticles are dissolved that can be attributed to the presence of residual nanopores.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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