Rev.Adv.Mater.Sci. (RAMS)
No 2, Vol. 15, 2007, pages 134-143


Francesco Gonella


Composite materials made by metal clusters embedded in silicate glass matrices exhibit striking optical properties, interesting for photonic application, as well as important magnetic properties, such as superparamagnetism. These composites are also good candidates for application in catalysis and sensor technology. Furthermore, metal clusters can act as sensitizers in rare earths-containing glasses, important in telecommunication technology. Among the most interesting preparation methods of metal nanocluster composite glasses are those based on ion implantation or ion exchange techniques, in combined methodologies that involve also subsequent annealing and/or irradiation of the metal-doped glass matrices. In this work, a short presentation is made of recent developments in the glass composites synthesis that use the combination of different methods, with special emphasis given to those based on ion implantation and ion exchange techniques. Some example will be also presented, that show the effectiveness of combining different techniques for controlling the nanocluster structure and size and thus the material features.

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