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Modeling and characterization of microspheres with silver molecular clusters for sensor applications
* 1 , * 1 , 2 , 1, 3
1  Department of Photonics, Faculty of Electronics, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”, 197022 St. Petersburg, Russia
2  ITMO University, Saint Petersburg, 197101, Russian Federation
3  Institute of Telecommunications, Riga Technical University, LV-1048 Riga, Latvia
Academic Editor: Stefano Mariani


This study presents a comprehensive investigation focused on microspheres containing silver molecular clusters as a high-performance material for advanced sensor applications. The study involves modeling the behavior of these microspheres and conducting a detailed analysis of their optical characteristics.

The synthesis of microspheres with silver molecular clusters involves an ion exchange process, wherein microspheres are immersed in a molten mixture of silver nitrate (AgNO3) and sodium nitrate (NaNO3). This controlled ion exchange leads to the formation of silver molecular clusters within the glass matrix, creating a distinctive surface layer and a refractive index gradient at the microsphere boundary.

Simulation results demonstrate an extended propagation of the fundamental mode compared to conventional glass microspheres, significantly enhancing the interaction of radiation with matter. The unique optical properties of silver molecular clusters, including luminescence peaks in the visible range (400-600 nm) when excited with long-wavelength UV light (360-410 nm), are thoroughly investigated to exploit the light-matter interaction for sensory functions. Furthermore, the material's characteristics, particularly its ultraviolet and visible absorption properties, are examined to gain insights into its potential for sensor applications.

Applications for these microspheres with silver molecular clusters encompass a wide range of sensor technologies. Examples include environmental sensing for detecting pollutants or hazardous gases, biomedical applications for targeted drug delivery or bioimaging, and industrial process monitoring for precise control and optimization.

Keywords: microspheres; silver molecular clusters; advanced sensor applications; ion exchange; glass matrix; refractive index gradient; optical characteristics; luminescence; UV light excitation; absorbance; sensor technologies