Passivation of Plasmonic Colors on Bulk Silver by Atomic Layer Deposition of Aluminum Oxide
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We report the passivation of angle-independent plasmonic colors on bulk silver by atomic layer deposition (ALD) of thin films of aluminum oxide. The colors are rendered by silver nanoparticles produced by laser ablation and redeposition on silver. We then apply a two-step approach to aluminum oxide conformal film formation via ALD. In the first step, a low-density film is deposited at low temperature to preserve and pin the silver nanoparticles. In the second step, a second denser film is deposited at a higher temperature to provide tarnish protection. This approach successfully protects the silver and plasmonic colors against tarnishing, humidity, and temperature, as demonstrated by aggressive exposure trials. The processing time associated with deposition of the conformal passivation layers meets industry requirements, and the approach is compatible with mass manufacturing.
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