Plasmonic Glasses and Films Based on Alternative Inexpensive Materials for Blocking Infrared Radiation

The need for energy-saving materials is pressing. This paper reports on the design of energy-saving glasses and films based on plasmonic composite glasses is nontrivial and requires to take full advantage of both materials and shape-related properties of the nanoparticles. We compute the performance of solar plasmonic glasses incorporating a transparent matrix and specially-shaped nanocrystals. Plasmonic nanoshells are shown to exhibit the best performances as compared to nanorods and nanocups. Simultaneously, the synthesis of plasmonic nanoshells is technologically feasible using gas-phase fabrication methods. The computational work was done for noble metals (Au, Ag) as well as for alternative plasmonic materials (Al, Cu, TiN). Inexpensive materials (Ag, Al, Cu, TiN) show overall good performance in terms of the commonly-used figures of merit of industrial glass windows. Together with numerical data for specific materials, this study includes a set of general rules for designing efficient plasmonic IR-blocking media. The plasmonic glasses proposed herein are good candidates for cheap optical media to be used in energy-saving windows in warm climates' housing or temperature-sensitive infrastructure.