Indexed on: 28 Aug '12Published on: 28 Aug '12Published in: Applied Physics A
Powdered layered double hydroxides (LDHs)—also known as hydrotalcite-like (HT)—compounds have been widely studied due to their applications as catalysts, anionic exchangers or host materials for inorganic or organic molecules. Assembling thin films of nano-sized LDHs onto flat solid substrates is an expanding area of research, with promising applications as sensors, corrosion-resistant coatings, components in optical and magnetic devices. The exploitation of LDHs as vehicles to carry dispersed metal nanoparticles onto a substrate is a new approach to obtain composite thin films with prospects for biomedical and optical applications.We report the deposition of thin films of Ag nanoparticles embedded in a Mg–Al layered double hydroxide matrix by pulsed laser deposition (PLD).The Ag-LDH powder was prepared by co-precipitation at supersaturation and pH = 10 using aqueous solutions of Mg and Al nitrates, Na hydroxide and carbonate, and AgNO3, having atomic ratios of Mg/Al = 3 and Ag/Al = 0.55. The target to be used in laser ablation experiments was a dry pressed pellet obtained from the prepared Ag-LDH powder. Three different wavelengths of a Nd:YAG laser (266, 532 and 1064 nm) working at a repetition rate of 10 Hz were used. X-Ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and secondary ions mass spectrometry (SIMS) were used to investigate the structure, surface morphology and composition of the deposited films.