Tunable plasmonic HfN nanoparticles and arrays†
We present the fabrication of tunable plasmonic hafnium nitride (HfN) nanoparticles. HfN is a metallic refractory material with the potential of supporting plasmon resonances in the visible range, similar to silver and gold, but with the additional benefits of high melting point, chemical stability, and mechanical hardness. However, the preparation of HfN nanoparticles and the experimental demonstration of their plasmonic potential are still in their infancy. Here, high quality HfN thin films were fabricated, for which ellipsometry shows their plasmonic potential. From these thin films, nanorods and nanotriangles were milled using a focused ion beam and the plasmon resonances were identified using cathodoluminescence mapping. As an alternative fabrication strategy, an optimized electron-beam lithography procedure was used to prepare arrays of HfN nanoparticles, which also exhibited clear surface plasmon resonances. These results pave the way to further explore HfN nanoparticles in plasmonically-powered applications where materials robustness is essential.