Abstract

The effective optical properties of plasmonic thin films can be used to model the far-field response of nanostructured materials to an incident electromagnetic field. In the present work, optically thin nanostructured silver (Ag) plasmonic films were fabricated on transparent dielectric substrates of soda-lime glass, sapphire, and fused silica using oblique angle deposition. The influence of the underlying dielectric substrate on the effective optical properties of the nanostructured layer was investigated by an ellipsometric-optical model based on Mueller matrix ellipsometry. The wavelength-dependent uniaxial optical responses of the nanostructured Ag films fabricated on sapphire were modeled with three Gaussian and one Tanguy oscillator, representing key optical phenomena over the range from 300 to 1000 nm. In comparison with the same Ag films on glass, the results confirm that the effective optical properties cannot be considered in isolation from the substrate. As expected, the extinction peak associated with the localized surface plasmon resonance was redshifted by approximately 220 nm per unit of the substrate refractive index. Importantly, it was found that the direction of incidence also influences the film behavior, with a substantial redshift in the extinction peak for light directed through the dielectric compared to free-space illumination. This property can have a significant effect on the far-field performance of these films.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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