Large area highly ordered monolayer composite microsphere arrays – fabrication and tunable surface plasmon linewidth
A route to produce highly ordered two-dimensional periodic composite microsphere/gel arrays by using a sol–gel coassembly method was proposed and demonstrated. The proposed semi-infiltrated ordered monolayer PS microsphere/gel array affords a flexible platform to produce versatile plasmonic structures through either adjusting the gel infiltration height or sputtered metal film thickness. Fabrication factors, such as environmental humidity, evaporation temperature, and tetraethyl orthosilicate solution concentration, that will affect the quality of the monolayer film were experimentally investigated. Pair correlation function was applied to evaluate the order degree of the experimental results, which reveals the high uniformity of the composite microsphere arrays (CSAs). By adjusting metal film thickness, the figures of merit of propagating surface plasmons excited on CSAs or concave arrays can be tuned under normal incidence.