Photoinduced Ag deposition on periodically poled lithium niobate: Wavelength and polarization screening dependence

Yang Sun, Robert Nemanich

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57 Scopus citations


This research addresses the wavelength dependence of the fabrication of Ag nanostructures through photoinduced deposition using single crystal ferroelectric lithium niobate as a template. The photoinduced deposition involves ultraviolent light illumination of polarity patterned lithium niobate while immersed in a AgNO3 solution. The results focus on the differences of the Ag nanostructure formation process on the positive and negative domains and domain boundaries. The results indicate that for below-band-gap excitation, a very low density of nanostructures is observed. However, for all above-gap-excitation wavelengths, deposition occurs on both polarity surfaces and at the domain boundaries. The density is greatest at the domain boundaries and reduced densities of smaller nanostructures are observed to form on both the positive and negative domains. The deposition on the domain surfaces is greatest for the shortest wavelengths, whereas the domain selectivity is increased for wavelengths just above the band gap. The external screening and weak band bending of single crystal lithium niobate introduces an enhanced electric field at the domain boundary. The enhanced electric field leads to migration of electrons to the domain boundary and consequently enhanced formation of Ag nanoparticles along the boundary. The variation in the reduction rate versus illumination wavelength is attributed to the light absorption depth and the competition between the photochemical and photoelectric deposition processes. To explore the transition from surface to bulk screening of the polarization charge, oxygen implanted PPLN surfaces were prepared and used for the Ag photoinduced deposition. Consistent with the transition to internal (bulk) screening, the Ag nanoparticle formation on the oxygen implanted PPLN surfaces showed suppressed boundary nanowire formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104302
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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