Reflection color tuning of a metal–insulator–metal cavity structure using arc plasma deposition of gold nanoparticles

Yun Hee Kim, M. A. Rahman, Jong Seung Hwang, Hyungduk Ko, Joo Youl Huh, Ji Young Byun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Structural colors have diverse applications in optical filters, surface decoration, photovoltaics, and digital displays. In this study, an arc plasma deposition (APD) method was employed for fabrication of the top Au layer in the asymmetric Fabry–Perot cavity structure of Au/Si3N4/Al. With an increasing number of APD pulses (nP), the morphology of the Au layer gradually changed from a dispersion of nanoparticles (NPs) to a nanoporous film and then to a dense film, which in turn led to a change in the refractive index of the Au layer. The structural colors of the Au/Si3N4/Al structure were mainly governed by the interference effect. The optical constants of the NP-dispersed and nanoporous Au layers could be reasonably estimated based on Bruggeman's effective medium approximation. When the Au layers deposited with different nP were combined with dielectric Si3N4 layers of various thicknesses (hd), the full range of color hue with a wide range of color chroma could be realized using the Au/Si3N4/Al trilayer structure. The color hue was predominantly governed by hd, and the color chroma gradually increased with nP for a given value of hd.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150140
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology [grant Number 2N45270] and the R&D convergence program of the National Research Council of Science & Technology of the Republic of Korea [grant number CAP-16-10-KIMS] and by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2019RIA2C2088940).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Arc plasma deposition
  • Bruggeman's approximation
  • Fabry–Perot cavity
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Structural colors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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