In Situ Growth of Low-Dimensional Silver Nanoclusters with Their Tunable Plasmonic and Thermodynamic Behavior

Optical properties of noble metal nanostructures associated with localized surface plasmon resonance (SPR) are technically important for optical switches and plasmonic devices. In this work, silver nanoclusters are embedded inside the soda-lime glass matrix, followed by a thermal annealing process in an open air atmosphere for 1 h. The effects of thermal annealing on the plasmonic behavior of Ag nanoclusters embedded in the glass matrix are studied with UV–vis spectroscopy and photoluminescence. In the SPR spectra, a 14 nm blue shift is observed in the visible range under the influence of thermal annealing at a higher temperature. The thermal effects on Ag particle size and SPR have been illustrated for plasmonic properties. The structural and elemental investigation of as-grown Ag nanoclusters is confirmed by X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscope, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The structural, plasmonic, and thermodynamic properties associated with the growth mechanism of Ag nanoclusters have been explained under the thermal process. Enthalpy (Δ<i>H</i>), entropy (Δ<i>S</i>), and Gibbs energy (Δ<i>G</i>) for Ag nanoclusters growth and nucleation are significantly calculated and interpreted at different temperatures. An empirical relation among the Δ<i>H</i>, Δ<i>S</i>, and Δ<i>G</i> is developed vis-a-vis activation energy (97.70 J/mol), which is calculated by the Arrhenius linear equation.