Photo-directed organization of silver nanoparticles in mesostructured silica and titania films
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This paper quantifies the migration of silver contained within mesostructured hybrid silica films and mesoporous titania films under exposure to modulated light. This quantization allows to demonstrate that all of the initial silver salt can be concentrated and reduced in domains accumulating the higher photonic energy. Entirely reduced in the form of nanoparticles of few nanometers size embedded in the silica matrix, silver is then quite stable even under subsequent homogeneous exposures. It is also shown that thanks to the relatively slow nanoparticle growth, successive multiple exposures can be used to create complex 3D microstructures within silica films using a simple dual beam interferometer. In mesoporous titania films, the UV photo-growth of silver nanoparticles remains limited to the vicinity of the film interface because of the matrix absorption and cannot provide deep 3D patterns of silver nanoparticles. However, 2D refractive index patterns can be obtained under UV exposure, erased with visible light and updated thanks to a reversible photochromic behavior. In such films, opposite migration flows of silver species are proven under UV intensity gradient and homogeneous visible exposure.
KeywordsMesoporous films UV interferometry Migration Microstructuring Photochromism
This work was funded by grants from ANR PNANO and ANR JCJC in the frame of the POMESCO and UPCOLOR projects, respectively. The authors thank Annie Rivoire from the Centre Technologique des Microstructures, Université Claude Bernard—Lyon I for the sample preparation by ultramicrotomy and CLYM (www.clym.fr) for access to TEM. The Région Rhône Alpes is also gratefully acknowledged for its financial support.