Gold nanoparticle assembly on porous silicon by pulsed laser induced dewetting
This work reports the influence of the substrate in the pulsed laser-induced dewetting (PLiD) of Au thin films for the fabrication of nanoparticle (NP) arrays. Two substrates were studied, i.e., polished silicon and porous silicon (PS), the latter being fabricated via electrochemical anodization in HF-containing electrolytes. The effect of both PLiD and substrate preparation parameters was explored systematically. On polished silicon substrates, it has been shown that uniform, randomly arranged NPs between 15 ± 7 nm and 89 ± 19 nm in diameter are produced, depending on initial thin film thickness. On PS however, there are topographical features that lead to the formation of ordered NPs with their diameters being controllable through laser irradiation time. The presence of surface pores and the appearance of surface ripples under low HF concentrations (<9.4 wt%) during electrochemical anodization results in this unique dewetting behaviour. Through AFM analysis, it has been determined that the ordered NPs sit within the valleys of the ripples, and form due to the atomic mobility enabled using the PLiD approach. This work has demonstrated that the utilization of topographically complex PS substrates results in size controllable and ordered NPs, while the use of polished Si does not enable such control over array fabrication.