Electroless Gold Island Thin Films: Photoluminescence and Thermal Transformation to Nanoparticle Ensembles

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Electroless gold island thin films are formed by galvanic replacement of silver reduced onto a tin-sensitized silica surface.Anovel approach to create nanoparticle ensembles with tunable particle dimensions, densities, and distributions by thermal transformation of these electroless gold island thin films is presented. Deposition time is adjusted to produce monomodal ensembles of nanoparticles from 9.5 +_ 4.0 to 266 +_ 22 nm at densities from 2.6 x 10 (to the 11 power) to 4.3 x 10(to the 8 power) particles cm-2. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy reveal electroless gold island film structures as well as nanoparticle dimensions, densities, and distributions obtained by watershed analysis. Transmission UV-vis spectroscopy reveals photoluminescent features that suggest ultrathin EL films may be smoother than sputtered Au films. X-ray diffraction shows Au films have predominantly (111) orientation.

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