Composite films consisting of a ceramic matrix with embedded metal nanoparticles have received increased interest due to their numerous potential applications in the field of optics and optoelectronics. Numerous studies have been dedicated to the fabrication of these composite materials and it has been shown that nanocermet films can be obtained by successive deposition of alternate dielectric and metal films of thicknesses opportunely chosen. In this case, stacks of dielectric layers alternated with layers of metal nanoclusters (NCs) are obtained. However, until now, optical characterization of these kinds of multilayer stack has been used to retrieve mainly qualitative information on the dimension, shape, and geometric distribution of nanoparticles inside the dielectric matrix. An easy-to-handle model that quantitatively links the optical properties to the main features of the NCs embedded in the matrix is presented. This model can be applied to multilayer stacks of dielectric layers alternated with metal NC layers and is shown to be a valid alternative to a recently published model [Nanotechnology 19, 125709 (2008)] that was applied to the case of a three-layer structure (dielectric/metal:dielectric/ dielectric).
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