Project summary

In the search for new materials with enhanced functionality, glassy nanocomposites comprising of nanoparticles of different nature in glassy matrix are of special interest. In the case of metal nanoparticles this is because the pronounced surface plasmon resonance, which dominates the optical properties of glass-metal nanocomposites (GMN) and provides high optical nonlinearity of GMN due to additional enhancement of the electric field in the vicinity of the nanoparticles. This resonance can be coupled to other resonances of different nature, like Bragg-type resonance mode in periodic medium or resonant electronic transition in glass doped with ions of rare-earth or transition metals. The strong coupling of surface plasmon to other resonant modes differing in origin can dramatically enrich the optical properties of GMN enabling photonics materials with strong and fast optical nonlinearity and spectral tunability. Modification of metal nanoparticles with, e.g., femtosecond laser irradiation can modify spectral properties and even change the temporal dynamics of the plasmon mode and such manner enrich functionality of the GMN.

In the framework of the NANOCOM we will develop innovative approach to development of novel materials based on nanostructuring glassy composites and will create such materials. The research objectives of the NANOCOM are modeling, manufacturing and investigation of (i) sub-micron patterned nanocomposites, (ii) GMN comprising of bimetallic nanoparticles, and (iii) GMN modified with femtosecond laser pulses.

We anticipate that theoretical and experimental results of NANOCOM will provide new insights in the mechanisms of the linear and nonlinear response of nanocomposites on electromagnetic fields.  New functionalities arising from the coupling of resonant excitations of different origin and to the modification of GMN response by fs laser processing will enable development of advanced glassy materials for photonic and electronic applications.

NANOCOM is to reinforce the existing and create new cooperation links between the Partners through a coordinated joint programme in fabrication, investigation and applications of glassy nanocomposites.