Nanocomposite films containing Ag nanoparticles embedded in a polymer matrix of Teflon AF, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and Nylon 6 were prepared by vapour phase co-deposition in high vacuum. A large variation of the particle plasmon resonance frequency in the visible region was obtained by increasing the Ag volume fraction from 4–80%. The metal volume fraction was measured by energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDX) and the film thickness was measured by surface profilometry. The position, width and strength of the plasmon resonance depend strongly on the metal filling factor, cluster size and interparticle distance. The microstructure of the nanocomposites (shape, size, size distribution and interparticle separation of metal clusters) was determined by transmission electron microscopy. The effect of the surrounding dielectric medium on the optical properties of nanocomposites was investigated by comparing the Teflon AF/Ag, PMMA/Ag and Nylon/Ag composites.
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