Self-organization on Nanoparticle Surfaces for Plasmonic and Nonlinear Optical Applications
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This dissertation is about fabrication and functionalization of metal nanoparticles for use in plasmonic and nonlinear optical (NLO) applications. In the first two chapters, I describe a series of experiments, where I combined silver nanoparticles fabricated by nanosphere lithography with ionic self-assembled multilayer (ISAM) films, tuning the geometry of the particles to make their plasmonic resonances overlap with the frequency of optical excitation. The designed hybrid metallic/organic nanostructures exhibited large enhancements of the efficiency of second harmonic generation (SHG) compared to conventional ISAM films, causing a modified film with just 3 bilayers to be optically equivalent to a conventional 700-1000 bilayer film. SHG responses from Ag nanoparticle-decorated hybrid-covalent ISAM (HCISAM) films were investigated as the next logical step towards high-Ï ²⁺ ISAM films. I found that the plasmonic enhancement primarily stems from interface SHG. Interface effects were characterized by direct comparison of SHG signals from PAH/PCBS ISAM films and PAH/PB HCISAM films. Though interface &chi²⁺ is substantially smaller in PAH/PCBS than in PAH/PB, plasmonically enhanced PAH/PCBS films exhibit stronger NLO response. I propose that the structure of PAH/PB film makes its interface more susceptible to disruptions in the nanoparticle deposition process, which explains our observations. During the fabrication of monolayer crystals for nanosphere lithography, I developed a variation of the technique of convective self-assembly, where the drying meniscus is restricted by a straight-edge located approximately 100 μM above the substrate adjacent to the drying zone. This technique can yield colloidal crystals at roughly twice the growth rate compared to the standard technique. I attribute this to different evaporation rates in the thin wet films in the two cases. I also found that the crystal growth rate depends strongly on the ambient relative humidity. Finally, dithiocarbamate (DTC)-grafted polymers were synthesized and employed to functionalize surfaces of Au nanopartciles. PAH-DTC shows greater stability in different environments than PEI-DTC. I also investigated the stability of PAH-DTC coated particles in suspensions with UV-Vis spectroscopy and autotitration. The covalently bonded PAH-DTC enhances the colloidal stability of the Au nanoparticles and enables subsequent ISAM film deposition onto the particles.
- Doctoral Dissertations