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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 2 — Jan. 17, 2011
  • pp: 1335–1343

Light coupling and enhanced backscattering in layered plasmonic nanocomposites

Olivier Deparis, Martynas Beresna, Cédric Vandenbem, and Peter G. Kazansky  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 1335-1343 (2011)

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Peculiar enhanced backscattering of light as well as selective vapor sensing were recently observed in a layered plasmonic nanocomposite which consisted of gold nanospheres randomly distributed in a sol-gel glass thin film on top of a soda-lime glass substrate, including a buried leaky waveguide. In order to understand the underlying physical mechanisms, we performed three-dimensional transfer-matrix numerical simulations and calculated the reflectance in both backward and specular directions as functions of the incidence angle. First, assuming a layered periodic particle arrangement, we confirmed that backscattering took place at grazing incidence if the spatial period in the layers was chosen within an optimal range, in agreement with theoretical predictions. Then, using a pseudo-random particle arrangement to describe the actual nanocomposite, we revealed that strong backscattering could nevertheless persist for specific particle distributions, in spite of their randomness. This behavior was tentatively explained by putting backscattering in relation with the particle interdistance statistics. Finally, we showed that backscattered reflectance was much more sensitive than specular reflectance to the adsorption of water vapor either on the surface or inside the likely porous structure of the glass host.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering
(050.1755) Diffraction and gratings : Computational electromagnetic methods
(280.4788) Remote sensing and sensors : Optical sensing and sensors

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: September 14, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: December 16, 2010
Published: January 12, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Olivier Deparis, Martynas Beresna, Cédric Vandenbem, and Peter G. Kazansky, "Light coupling and enhanced backscattering in layered plasmonic nanocomposites," Opt. Express 19, 1335-1343 (2011)

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