Abstract

A method for making aerogel doped with gold nanoparticles (GNPs) produces a composite material with a well-defined localized surface plasmon resonance peak at 520nm. The width of the extinction feature indicates the GNPs are well dispersed in the aerogel, making it suited to optical study. A simple effective medium approximation cannot explain the peak extinction wavelengths. The plasmonic field extends on a scale where aerogel cannot be considered isotropic, so a new model is required: a 5nm glass coating on the GNPs models the extinction spectrum of the composite material, with air (aerogel), methanol (alcogel), or toluene filling the pores.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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