The film thickness dependent thermal stability of Al2O 3:Ag thin films as high-temperature solar selective absorbers

Xiudi Xiao, Gang Xu, Bin Xiong, Deming Chen, Lei Miao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The monolayer Al2O3:Ag thin films were prepared by magnetron sputtering. The microstructure and optical properties of thin film after annealing at 700 °C in air were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and spectrophotometer. It revealed that the particle shape, size, and distribution across the film were greatly changed before and after annealing. The surface plasmon resonance absorption and thermal stability of the film were found to be strongly dependent on the film thickness, which was believed to be associated with the evolution process of particle diffusion, agglomeration, and evaporation during annealing at high temperature. When the film thickness was smaller than 90 nm, the film SPR absorption can be attenuated until extinct with increasing annealing time due to the evaporation of Ag particles. While the film thickness was larger than 120 nm, the absorption can keep constant even after annealing for 64 h due to the agglomeration of Ag particles. On the base of film thickness results, the multilayer Al2O3:Ag solar selective thin films were prepared and the thermal stability test illustrated that the solar selectivity of multilayer films with absorbing layer thickness larger than 120 nm did not degrade after annealing at 500 °C for 70 h in air. It can be concluded that film thickness is an important factor to control the thermal stability of Al2O3:Ag thin films as high-temperature solar selective absorbers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number746
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy conversion
  • SPR absorption
  • Solar selective absorbers
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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