We use PVD techniques (vacuum vapor deposition, magnetron sputtering, pulsed laser deposition) to prepare black metal films. The studied metals include eg Au, Al, Ag, Pd. In the preparation of layers of ferrous metals, the influence of deposition conditions and the possibility of their control in order to achieve the desired properties is investigated. Influenced parameters of the layers include especially thickness, roughness, micro and nanostructure, which significantly influence the area / volume ratio, plasmon behavior, and consequently optical and electrical properties. New deposition systems for magnetron sputtering and vacuum vapor deposition are also being developed for this purpose.
Optical properties are studied using spectrophotometry using integrating sphere, FTIR and spectral ellipsometry (UV-IR). Electrical properties are characterized by conductivity measurements, Hall measurements and impedance spectroscopy. Structural and microstructural properties are characterized by XRD and AFM. The morphology and composition of the layers is analyzed by SEM and SEM-EDX.
For the application in sensors, it is expected to be utilize the black metals in quartz crystal resonators where sensitive layers containing black metals is decorated with organic receptors (phthalocyanines and porphyrins). These sensors will be used for the detection of nitrogen-containing gas analytes, including explosives taggants. The values of their mechanical parameters (shear modulus and acoustic impedance) are close to those for quartz - in synergy with a small amount of organic substances that fulfill the role of analyte-specific receptors. This approach will reduce the detection limit and improve the selectivity of the quartz crystal resonator while maintaining a high quality factor value.
For applications in optics and optoelectronics, the aim is to ensure maximum absorption of electromagnetic radiation over a given wavelength range where the diffuse reflectivity does not exceed 5%. It is supposed to use fabricated structures as absorbers for detectors, solar panels and displays.Interaction with intense laser radiation is also studied to modify the properties of black metal structures.