Atomic force microscopical and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopical investigation of sub-micrometer metal gratings generated by UV laser-based two-beam interference in Au-Ag bimetallic layers

M. Csete, A. Koházi-Kis, Cs Vass, Á Sipos, G. Szekeres, M. Deli, K. Osvay, Zs Bor

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Metal films containing silver and gold layers having different thicknesses were evaporated on glass substrates. Two-beam interference technique was applied to irradiate the surfaces by the fourth harmonic of a pulsed mode Nd:YAG laser. The atomic force microscopical study showed that surface relief grating having a period of 900 nm corresponding to the interference pattern was developed on the metallic films. The modulation amplitude of the laser-induced gratings was increasable by enhancing the number of laser pulses at constant fluence, and a groove depth commensurable with the film thicknesses was generated at the average fluence of 39.5 mJ/cm 2 on bimetallic layers. The surface structure was more regular, and the modulation amplitude was larger in case of bimetallic films containing thicker gold layers. The threshold fluences of the phase transitions were determined by numerical temperature model calculations for different metal layer compositions, and a good agreement was found between the calculated and experimentally observed threshold values. The division of the metal stripes into droplets and the development of holes were explained by the melting of the entire metal layers and by the vaporization of silver at higher fluences. The angle-dependent surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy realized in Kretschmann arrangement proved that the laser-induced grating formation was accompanied by the change in the optical thickness and by the modification of the structure of the bimetallic films. Broad side wings appeared on the resonance curves caused by grating-coupling in case of appropriate rotation angle and sufficiently large modulation depth of the grating's grooves, according to our calculations. The coupling on deep gratings developed on bimetallic films containing the thinnest gold layer and on monometallic silver films resulted in separated secondary resonance minimum development. The periodic adherence of native streptavidin on the metallic gratings was detected by tapping mode AFM, and based on the shift of the secondary resonance peak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7662-7671
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Jul 31 2007



  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Bimetallic films
  • Rotated grating-coupling
  • Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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