Nanostructured noble metals such as gold exhibit unique size-dependent plasmonic and optical properties which is an enabling factor for designing nanophotonic devices. However, for its deployment in high temperature applications such as solar thermal energy harvesting and optothermal conversion, it requires understanding of its temperature dependent optical properties. This paper investigates the in situ specular reflectance of nanoporous gold (NPG) thin films in the wavelength range between 400 and 1000 nm at temperatures ranging from 25 to 500 °C via a home-built fiber-based optical spectrometer. During heating, the NPG's ligaments coalesce from an initial size of 39 ± 12 nm to a final size of up to 299 ± 114 nm, and its ligament scales with temperature closely matching an Arrhenius dependence. The surface roughness of NPG is empirically correlated to ligament size and temperature to allow for the theoretical prediction of the relative specular reflectance using scattering coefficients and effective medium theory which closely matches the experimental results. These results represent a step forward in using in situ optical spectroscopic methods to monitor the ligament size evolution of NPG thin-films and to understand its stability and optical properties for applications at elevated temperatures.
- fiber optics
- nanoporous gold
- optical reflectance
- temperature dependent
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics