Although atomic layer deposition (ALD) has been used for many years as an industrial manufacturing method for microprocessors and displays, this versatile technique is finding increased use in the emerging fields of plasmonics and nanobiotechnology. In particular, ALD coatings can modify metallic surfaces to tune their optical and plasmonic properties, to protect them against unwanted oxidation and contamination, or to create biocompatible surfaces. Furthermore, ALD is unique among thin film deposition techniques in its ability to meet the processing demands for engineering nanoplasmonic devices, offering conformal deposition of dense and ultrathin films on high-aspect-ratio nanostructures at temperatures below 100 °C. In this review, we present key features of ALD and describe how it could benefit future applications in plasmonics, nanosciences, and biotechnology.
- Atomic layer deposition