Metastable atomic layer deposition: 3D self-assembly towards ultra-dark materials

in: ACS Nano (2020)
Ziegler, Mario; Dathe, André; Pollok, Kilian; Langenhorst, Falko; Hübner, Uwe; Wang, Dong; Schaaf, Peter
Black body materials are promising candidates to meet future energy demands, as they are able to harvest energy from the total bandwidth of solar radiation. Here, we report on high-absorption near-blackbody-like structures (>98% for a wide solar spectrum range from 220 to 2500 nm) consisting of a silica scaffold and Ag nanoparticles with a layer thickness below 10 μm, fabricated using metastable atomic layer deposition (MS-ALD). Several effects contribute collectively and in a synergistic manner to the ultrahigh absorption, including the pronounced heterogeneity of the nanoparticles in size and shape, particle plasmon hybridization, and the trapping of omnidirectionally scattered light in the 3D hierarchical hybrid structures. We propose that, in the future, MS-ALD needs to be considered as a simple and promising method to fabricate blackbody materials with excellent broadband absorption.

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