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Tuning Size and Shape of Au Nanoparticles Embedded in Silica Glass by Swift Heavy Ion Irradiation

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The present work reports the tuning of size and shape of Au nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in silica glass. Au NPs in silica glass were synthesized by implantation of 32 keV Au ions to a fluence of 4×1016 cm–2 followed by annealing in air at 850 °C. This way prepared NPs were irradiated by 100 MeV Au8+ ions at fluences between 2–10×1013 cm–2. Transmission electron microscopy studies showed growth and elongation of the NPs up to a fluence of 5×1013 ions cm–2. Particle elongation has been found to increase with increase in ion fluence. Optical absorption studies on these samples showed a splitting up of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) bands corresponding to transverse and longitudinal modes. The longitudinal SPR band has been seen to shift towards higher wavelength with increase in fluence. However, after Au irradiation to a fluence of 1×1014 ions cm–2, Au NPs have been found to be spherical in shape, with a very large interparticle distance, having an average size smaller than that of the lower fluence irradiated samples. In addition, a two-dimensional array of Au NPs, very near to the silica surface, has been seen. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry studies showed movement of Au towards the matrix surface and gradual decrease of Au content with increase in fluence. The results are discussed in the framework of inelastic thermal spike model combined with pressure pulse coming from fast density changes in the latent tracks created by ion irradiation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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