ORC Seminar Series

"Beyond gold nanospheres for plasmonic applications"


Professor Mike Ford
Head of the Department of Physics & Advanced Materials and Associate Director of the Institute for Nanoscale Technology, University of Technology, Sydney.

Date: Friday 1 February 2008
Time: 11.00am
Venue: Physics Lecture Theatre B (Building 46, room 2003)


Spherical nanoparticles made from gold are possibly the most ubiquitous of plasmonic structures, and have found applications in areas as diverse as nanolithography and medical therapeutics. The field has moved well beyond simple spheres, gold nanoparticles can now be synthesised in a variety of shapes including shells, rods, semi-shells, and core-shells. Using different materials, or combinations of materials, opens further possibilities for tuning the optical response, for example incorporating phase change materials such as VO2 allows plasmonic devices that can be switched by an external stimulus. Aggregates of nanoparticles, such as colloidal crystals provide a third dimension to the problem.

Colloidal Crystal of 5 nm Au nanoparticles

In this talk I will present an overview of our work at UTS, which has centred on the synthesis, characterisation and simulation of gold nanoparticles of various shapes and their application. Here I will concentrate on critically comparing the properties and fabrication methods. More recently we have become interested in developing other materials for plasmonic applications such as phase change materials or alloys. Computational simulations of the optical response and first principles calculations of the dielectric functions play a critical role in this work and I will present methods we employ or are developing in this regard.

Schematic of switchable coating made from Au rods

Copyright University of Southampton 2006