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1. WO2012065076 - PLASMONIC STRUCTURES, METHODS FOR MAKING PLASMONIC STRUCTURES, AND DEVICES INCLUDING THEM

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[ EN ]

What is claimed is:

1. A plasmonic structure comprising:

a substrate;

a plurality of metal particles disposed on the substrate; and

one or more metal structures electrically coupled to and disposed on a surface of each of the plurality of metal particles, the metal having a structure different from the structure of the metal particles.

2. The plasmonic structure according to claim 1, wherein the one or more metal structures are formed by electrodeposition.

3. The plasmonic structure according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the plurality of metal particles has an average diameter in the range of about 5 nm to about 2 μιη

4. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-3, wherein the plurality of metal particles has an average nearest neighbor distance in the range of about 5 nm to about 2 μιη

5. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-4, wherein the metal particles are formed from silver, copper, or gold.

6. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-4, wherein the metal particles are formed from aluminum.

7. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-6, wherein the metal particles are substantially hemispherical in shape.

8. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-6, wherein the metal structures electrically interconnect the plurality of metal particles.

9. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-8, wherein the metal structure is formed from silver or copper.

10. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-9, wherein the metal structure is a dendritic metal structure

11. The plasmonic structure according to claim 10, wherein the at least one dendritic metal structure is no more than about 200 nm in average thickness.

12. The plasmonic structure according to claim 10 or claim 11 , wherein the at least one dendritic metal structure has an average individual segment width of no more than about 1 μιη.

13. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-12, wherein the metal particles are at least partially embedded in a dielectric or semiconductor material.

14. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-13, wherein substantially no solid electrolyte is in contact with the metal structure and the metal particles.

15. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-14, wherein the substrate comprises a photovoltaic cell.

16. The plasmonic structure according to claim 15, wherein the photovoltaic cell is a single crystal Si photovoltaic cell, an amorphous Si photovoltaic cell, a silicon-on-insulator photovoltaic cell, a III-V semiconductor photovoltaic cell, a II-VI semiconductor photovoltaic cell, a CuInSe2 photovoltaic cell, or a quantum well photovoltaic cell.

17. The plasmonic structure according to claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the light-absorbing photovoltaic layer of the photovoltaic cell is less than about 50 μιη in thickness.

18. The plasmonic structure according to any of claims 1-14, wherein the substrate comprises an optical sensor.

19. A method for making a plasmonic structure, the method comprising:

providing a substrate having disposed thereon a plurality of metal particles; providing an anode and a cathode and disposing a liquid on the surface of the substrate, such that the liquid is in electrical contact with the anode, the cathode and the plurality of metal particles; and

applying a bias voltage across the metal particles and the anode sufficient to grow one or more metal structures electrically coupled to and disposed on each of the plurality of metal particles.

20. The method according to claim 19, wherein the anode is disposed on the top surface of the substrate.

21. The method according to claim 19 or claim 20, wherein the liquid is an aqueous liquid.

22. The method according to claim 19 or claim 20, wherein the liquid is an aqueous solution of electrolyte.

23. The method according to any of claims 19-22, further comprising removing the liquid from the top surface of the substrate after applying the bias voltage to grow the metal structure.

24. The method according to any of claims 19-23, wherein the metal structure is a dendritic metal structure.

25. The method according to any of claims 19-24, wherein the metal particles are formed by depositing metal on the substrate, then heating the metal to cause surface tension induced agglomeration.