Along this chapter, we probe that the discrete dipole approximation models fairly well the optical response of periodic systems. Herein, we use it to model the reflectance and transmittance, at normal incidence, of colloidal films made of SiO2 spheres. As the thickness increases from 1 to 12 layers, the photonic band gap shifts to the blue tending to the value corresponding to a 3D opal, 442 nm. A film with more than eight layers resembles the bulk properties of a 3D opal. Our results are compared to a real sample. Besides, we show that taking advantage of the wide and asymmetrical absorbance spectrum of an opal with Au NPs is possible to identify the contribution of each component in the overall spectrum, through a deconvolution analysis. Finally, we present the electric field intensity as the content of metal NP increases in a monolayer. We consider NPs one order of magnitude smaller than the silica spheres, and then, 6, 9, and 17 NPs are hosted in the void. Similar average electric field intensities, about 11 times the incident intensity, are obtained with Au and Ag NPs. But, the spots with these intensities cover a bigger area with Ag NPs than with Au NPs.
Part of the book: Nanorods and Nanocomposites
Herein we addressed a study to determine the enhancement factor (EF) of the Raman signal reached by composite films with two main components, Ag nanoparticles and SiO2 spheres. The study involves the synthesis, structural composition and optical response by using experimental techniques and theoretical-numerical modeling. A colloid with single NPs and agglomerates of them, with a tannic acid layer on its surface, was produced. Separately, porous SiO2 spheres were obtained. A mixture of both, Ag NPs and SiO2 particles was used to produce the films by solvent evaporation method. It is shown that single or agglomerated Ag NPs are preferentially located at the interstices of the SiO2 spheres. Using discrete dipole approximation, the SERS EF has been estimated considering the agglomeration and tannic acid layer. Both, the dielectric spheres and tannic acid layer diminish the electric field intensity and therefore the SERS EF. When a Ag NP with/without a dielectric shell is touching a SiO2 sphere, the EF is as high as 1 × 103, the zones where this value is reached are smaller when the dielectric layer is present. With a cluster of 3 nude Ag NPs surrounded by SiO2 spheres an EF of 2.4 × 103 is obtained.
Part of the book: Silver Micro-Nanoparticles