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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 23 — Nov. 18, 2013
  • pp: 28638–28650

Aluminum plasmonics: optimization of plasmonic properties using liquid-prism-coupled ellipsometry

Kenneth Diest, Vladimir Liberman, Donna M. Lennon, Paul B. Welander, and Mordechai Rothschild  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 23, pp. 28638-28650 (2013)

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We have established a method to quantify and optimize the plasmonic behavior of aluminum thin films by coupling spectroscopic ellipsometry into surface plasmon polaritons using a liquid prism cell in a modified Otto configuration. This procedure was applied to Al thin films deposited by four different methods, as well as to single crystal Al substrates, to determine the broadband optical constants and calculate plasmonic figures of merit. The best performance was achieved with Al films that have been sputter-deposited at high temperatures of 350°C, followed by chemical mechanical polishing. This combination of temperature and post-processing produced aluminum films with both large grain size and low surface roughness. Comparing these figures of merit with literature values of gold, silver, and copper shows that at blue and ultraviolet wavelengths, optimized aluminum has the highest figure of merit of all materials studied. We further employ the Ashcroft and Sturm theory of optical conductivity to extract the electron scattering times for the Drude and effective interband transitions, interband transition energies, and the optical mass of electrons.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.3900) Materials : Metals
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(260.3910) Physical optics : Metal optics
(310.1860) Thin films : Deposition and fabrication
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 1, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: October 30, 2013
Published: November 14, 2013

Kenneth Diest, Vladimir Liberman, Donna M. Lennon, Paul B. Welander, and Mordechai Rothschild, "Aluminum plasmonics: optimization of plasmonic properties using liquid-prism-coupled ellipsometry," Opt. Express 21, 28638-28650 (2013)

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