Light-induced processes on atoms and clusters confined in nanoporous silica and organic films

Year: 2007

Authors: Moi L., Burchianti A., Bogi A., Marinelli C., Maibohm C., Mariotti E.

Autors Affiliation: CNISM, Physics Department, Siena University, Via Roma 56, I-53100 Siena, Italy

Abstract: The study of light induced processes on atoms and nanoparticles confined in organic films or in dielectric structures is motivated both by fundamental interest and applications in optics and photonics. Depending on the light intensity and frequency and the kind of confinement, different processes can be activated. Among them photodesorption processes have a key role. Non thermal light induced atomic desorption has been observed from siloxane and paraffin films previously exposed to alkali vapors. This effect has been extensively investigated and used both to develop photo-atom sources and to load magneto-optical traps. Recently we observed huge photodesorption of alkali atoms embedded in nanoporous silica. In this case the atomic photodesorption causes, by properly tuning the light frequency, either formation or evaporation of clusters inside the silica matrix. Green-blue light desorbs isolated adatoms from the glass surface eventually producing clusters, whereas red-near infrared (NIR) light causes cluster evaporation due to direct excitation of surface plasmon oscillations. Green-blue light induces cluster formation taking advantage of the dense atomic vapor, which diffuses through the glass nano-cavities. Both processes are reversible and even visible to the naked eye. By alternatively illuminating the porous glass sample with blue-green and red-NIR light we demonstrate that the glass remembers the illumination sequences behaving as an effective rereadable and rewritable optical medium.

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More Information: Sponsors: SPIE Bulgaria Chapter; Institute of Electronics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Optocom Ltd., Bulgaria; Evrika Foundation, Bulgaria; National Technical University of Athens, Greece; Coherent Inc.
KeyWords: Desorption; Evaporation; Photonics; Silica, Collective excitations; Paraffin films; Photon stimulated desorption, Nanoparticles
DOI: 10.1117/12.726804