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Tunable optical response of bowtie nanoantenna arrays on thermoplastic substrates


Thermally responsive polymers present an interesting avenue for tuning the optical properties of nanomaterials on their surfaces by varying their periodicity and shape using facile processing methods. Gold bowtie nanoantenna arrays are fabricated using nanosphere lithography on prestressed polyolefin (PO), a thermoplastic polymer, and optical properties are investigated via a combination of spectroscopy and electromagnetic simulations to correlate shape evolution with optical response. Geometric features of bowtie nanoantennas evolve by annealing at temperatures between 105 °C and 135 °C by releasing the degree of prestress in PO. Due to the higher modulus of Au versus PO, compressive stress occurs on Au bowtie regions on PO, which leads to surface buckling at the two highest annealing temperatures; regions with a 5 nm gap between bowtie nanoantennas are observed and the average reduction is 75%. Reflectance spectroscopy and full-wave electromagnetic simulations both demonstrate the ability to tune the plasmon resonance wavelength with a window of approximately 90 nm in the range of annealing temperatures investigated. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering measurements demonstrate that maximum enhancement is observed as the excitation wavelength approaches the plasmon resonance of Au bowtie nanoantennas. Both the size and morphology tunability offered by PO allows for customizing optical response.

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