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Open Access Nano Express

Extraordinary terahertz absorption bands observed in micro/nanostructured Au/polystyrene sphere arrays

Guotao Duan1, Fuhai Su1*, Wen Xu12*, Cunlin Zhang3 and Weiping Cai1

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Materials Physics, Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, 230031, China

2 Department of Physics, Yunnan University, Kunming, 650091, China

3 Beijing Key Laboratory for Terahertz Spectroscopy and Imaging, Key Laboratory of Terahertz Optoelectronics, Department of Physics, Capital Normal University, Beijing, 100048, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:657  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-657

Published: 28 November 2012


Terahertz (THz) time-domain spectroscopy is carried out for micro/nanostructured periodic Au/dielectric sphere arrays on Si substrate. We find that the metal-insulator transition can be achieved in THz bandwidth via varying sample parameters such as the thickness of the Au shell and the diameter of the Au/dielectric sphere. The Au/polystyrene sphere arrays do not show metallic THz response when the Au shell thickness is larger than 10 nm and the sphere diameter is smaller than 500 nm. This effect is in sharp contrast to the observations in flat Au films on Si substrate. Interestingly, the Au/polystyrene sphere arrays with a 5-nm-thick Au shell show extraordinary THz absorption bands or metallic optical conductance when the diameter of the sphere is larger than 200 nm. This effect is related to the quantum confinement effect in which the electrons in the structure are trapped in the sphere potential well of the gold shell.

Terahertz; Micro/nanostructure; Absorption bands; Quantum confinement