Abstract

Films containing a layer of Ag nanoparticles embedded in silicon dioxide were produced by RF magnetron sputtering. Optical transmittance measurements at several angles of incidence (from normal to 75°) revealed two surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peaks, which depend on electric field direction: one in the ultraviolet and another red-shifted from the dilute Ag/SiO2 system resonance at 410 nm. In order to investigate the origin of this anisotropic behavior, the structural properties were determined by transmission electron microscopy, revealing the bidimensional plane distribution of Ag nanoparticles with nearly spherical shape as well as the filling factor of metal in the composite. A simple model linked to these experimental parameters allowed description of the most relevant features of the SPR positions, which, depending on the field direction, were distinctly affected by the coupling of oscillations between close nanoparticles, as described by a modified Drude–Lorentz dielectric function introduced into the Maxwell–Garnett relation. This approach allowed prediction of the resonance for light at 75° incidence from the SPR position for light at normal incidence, in good agreement with experimental observation.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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