Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Chemical etching; Ion-solid interaction; Nuclear materials; Plasmon-phonon coupling; Quartz; Raman spectroscopy


”This study addresses the experimental methods used to develop and characterize plasmonic devices capable of modifying the optical response of alpha quartz via the deposition of gold nanoparticles in etched ion tracks. In the first part of the research, the microstructural characterization of latent and etched ion tracks produced in alpha quartz (α-SiO2) is presented. Single crystals of α-SiO2 were irradiated with two highly energetic ions to different nominal fluences. As expected, the morphology of the resulting ion tracks depends on the energy of the incident ion and their stopping powers within the target material. Subsequent chemical vapor-etching was conducted to create nanowells in the crystal structure. The etching process resulted in facetted nanowells, whose superficial dimensions increased with etching times and etchant concentrations. It was found that the etching rate is highly dependent on crystal orientation. Additionally, Raman spectroscopic analysis of the phonon confinement effect and strain due to the ion tracks is presented. Results show that the optical phonon modes undergo a shift towards higher frequencies while broadening asymmetrically compared to the unirradiated samples due to phonon confinement effects. In the second part of the research, the deposition of gold nanoparticles inside of the nanowells was conducted. The modification of the optical response of quartz by depositing gold nanoparticles in the nanowells is discussed. An increase in the Raman intensity was observed thanks to the enhancement of the electromagnetic field produced by localized surface plasmons at the surface of the gold nanoparticles. The deposition of nanoparticles in etched ion tracks in fused silica was also achieved and is also briefly discussed”--Abstract, page iv.


Graham, Joseph T.

Committee Member(s)

Castano Giraldo, Carlos Henry
Schlegel, Joshua P.
Crespillo, Miguel L.
Brow, Richard K


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Nuclear Engineering


This work was supported by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Faculty Development Grant NRC-HQ-84-15-G-0044.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2020

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Anisotropic nanowell formation by vapor etching of ion tracks generated by high electronic excitation in α -quartz
  • Raman characterization of phonon confinement and strain effects from latent ion tracks in α -quartz
  • Enhancement of plasmon-phonon coupling in etched ion tracks in α-quartz


xii, 124 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2020 Maria Camila Garcia Toro, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11784

Electronic OCLC #