Fabrication and optical characterizations of smooth silver-silica nanocomposite films

W. Chen, M. D. Thoreson, A. V. Kildishev, V. M. Shalaev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have studied the surface-smoothing effect of an ultrathin germanium (Ge) layer on silver (Ag)-silica (SiO2)nanocomposite films for superlensing applications. Our experimental results indicate that inserting a thin Ge layer below the silver-silica composite films can reduce the final surface root-mean-squared (RMS) roughness to under 1 nm. Additionally, the metal nanostructure plays a role in both the smoothing effect and the optical properties of the nanocomposite films.Our experimental results show that the Bruggeman effective medium theory (EMT) is not sufficiently accurate to describe some properties of our nanocomposite films. In addition to the constituent materials and their filling fraction within the composites, the detailed geometries of the metal nanostructures also show a significant influence on the optical properties of the composite films. This influence has not been taken into account by the EMT formulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-684
Number of pages8
JournalLaser Physics Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010


  • Composite film
  • Effective medium theory
  • Superlens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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