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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Methods for tuning plasmonic and photonic optical resonances in high surface area porous electrodes.


Surface plasmons have found a wide range of applications in plasmonic and nanophotonic devices. The combination of plasmonics with three-dimensional photonic crystals has enormous potential for the efficient localization of light in high surface area photoelectrodes. However, the metals traditionally used for plasmonics are difficult to form into three-dimensional periodic structures and have limited optical penetration depth at operational frequencies, which limits their use in nanofabricated photonic crystal devices. The recent decade has seen an expansion of the plasmonic material portfolio into conducting ceramics, driven by their potential for improved stability, and their conformal growth via atomic layer deposition has been established. In this work, we have created three-dimensional photonic crystals with an ultrathin plasmonic titanium nitride coating that preserves photonic activity. Plasmonic titanium nitride enhances optical fields within the photonic electrode while maintaining sufficient light penetration. Additionally, we show that post-growth annealing can tune the plasmonic resonance of titanium nitride to overlap with the photonic resonance, potentially enabling coupled-phenomena applications for these three-dimensional nanophotonic systems. Through characterization of the tuning knobs of bead size, deposition temperature and cycle count, and annealing conditions, we can create an electrically- and plasmonically-active photonic crystal as-desired for a particular application of choice.

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