Disorder‐Induced Material‐Insensitive Optical Response in Plasmonic Nanostructures: Vibrant Structural Colors from Noble Metals

Mao, Peng, Liu, Changxu, Niu, Yubiao, Qin, Yuyuan, Song, Fengqi, Han, Min, Palmer, Richard E., Maier, Stefan A. and Zhang, Shuang (2021) Disorder‐Induced Material‐Insensitive Optical Response in Plasmonic Nanostructures: Vibrant Structural Colors from Noble Metals. Advanced Materials, 33 (23). p. 2007623. ISSN 0935-9648

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202007623


Materials show various responses to incident light, owing to their unique dielectric functions. A well-known example is the distinct colors displayed by metals, providing probably the simplest method to identify gold, silver, and bronze since ancient times. With the advancement of nanotechnology, optical structures with feature sizes smaller than the optical wavelength have been routinely achieved. In this regime, the optical response is also determined by the geometry of the nanostructures, inspiring flourishing progress in plasmonics, photonic crystals, and metamaterials. Nevertheless, the nature of the materials still plays a decisive role in light–matter interactions, and this material-dependent optical response is widely accepted as a norm in nanophotonics. Here, a counterintuitive system—plasmonic nanostructures composed of different materials but exhibiting almost identical reflection—is proposed and realized. The geometric disorder embedded in the system overwhelms the contribution of the material properties to the electrodynamics. Both numerical simulations and experimental results provide concrete evidence of the insensitivity of the optical response to different plasmonic materials. The same optical response is preserved with various materials, providing great flexibility of freedom in material selection. As a result, the proposed configuration may shed light on novel applications ranging from Raman spectroscopy, photocatalysis, to nonlinear optics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research funded by European Research Council (734578)
Uncontrolled Keywords: plasmonics, nanophotonics, disorder
Subjects: F300 Physics
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2021 11:15
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2022 03:31
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47146

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