Supersaturation-Driven Optical Tuning of Ag Nanocomposite Glasses for Photonics: An In Situ Optical Microspectroscopy Study

J. A. Jiménez, Mariana Sendova, Huimin Liu, Félix E. Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Silver nanoparticle (NP) precipitation in a melt-quenched aluminophosphate glass matrix has been studied and compared for 8mol% and 4mol% concentrations of both Ag2O and SnO dopants. The assessment is carried out by monitoring the plasmonic evolution of glass-embedded Ag NPs in real time during thermal treatments by in situ optical microspectroscopy and complemented by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction characterization. The time variation in the surface plasmon resonance of Ag NPs is analyzed in the framework of Mie extinction theory in connection with nanocrystal precipitation in the supersaturated solid solutions. For the higher concentration of silver and tin, nucleation and growth processes were distinguished, which appeared to be temperature- and time-dependent. Hence, favorable conditions were induced for the precipitation of a large amount of small NPs in the system. On the other hand, the nucleation and growth stages were not well separated in time for the lower concentration of dopants, resulting in Ag NPs of a broad size range. However, such less-concentrated nanocomposite allowed for the precipitation of NPs much larger than those observed for the 8% doped glass. Varying the degree of supersaturation in the system has been established as an important means for the tuning of material optical properties for photonic (nanoplasmonic) applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • In situ techniques
  • Nanocomposites
  • Optical materials
  • Phosphate glass
  • Silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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