Measurement and modelization of silica opal optical properties

Amaury Avoine, Phan Ngoc Hong, Hugo Frederich, Kifle Aregahegn, Paul Bénalloul, Laurent Coolen, Catherine Schwob, Pham Thu Nga, Bruno Gallas and Agnès Maître

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Keywords: nano


We present the synthesis process and optical characterization of artificial silica opals. The specular reflection spectra are analyzed and compared to band structure calculations and finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations. The silica optical index is a key parameter to correctly describe an opal and is usually not known and treated as a free parameter. Here we propose a method to infer the silica index, as well as the silica spheres diameter, from the reflection spectra and we validate it by comparison with two independent infrared methods for the index and, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements for the spheres diameter

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