Plasmonic efficiencies of nanoparticles made of metal nitrides (TiN, ZrN) compared with gold
Nature Publishing Group
Metal nitrides have been proposed to replace noble metals in plasmonics for some specific applications. In particular, while titanium nitride (TiN) and zirconium nitride (ZrN) possess localized plasmon resonances very similar to gold in magnitude and wavelength, they benefit from a much higher sustainability to temperature. For this reason, they are foreseen as ideal candidates for applications in nanoplasmonics that require high material temperature under operation, such as heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) or thermophotovoltaics. This article presents a detailed investigation of the plasmonic properties of TiN and ZrN nanoparticles in comparison with gold nanoparticles, as a function of the nanoparticle morphology. As a main result, metal nitrides are shown to be poor near-field enhancers compared to gold, no matter the nanoparticle morphology and wavelength. The best efficiencies of metal nitrides as compared to gold in term of near-field enhancement are obtained for small and spherical nanoparticles, and they do not exceed 60%. Nanoparticle enlargements or asymmetries are detrimental. These results mitigate the utility of metal nitrides for high-temperature applications such as HAMR, despite their high temperature sustainability. Nevertheless, at resonance, metal nitrides behave as efficient nanosources of heat and could be relevant for applications in thermoplasmonics, where heat generation is not detrimental but desired.