The ablation of a metal target at laser energy densities in the range of 1-10 TW/cm2 leads to the generation of nanoparticles (NP) of the ablated material. This aspect is of particular interest if the immobilization of NPs on three-dimensional (3D) substrates is necessary as for example in sensing applications. In this work the deposition of Au NP by irradiation of a Au bulk target with a sub-picosecond laser beam (500fs; 248nm; 10Hz) on 2D (silica and Si(100)) and 3D substrates (silica nanowire forests) is reported for different number of laser pulses (500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500). A uniform coverage of small Au NPs (with a diameter of few nm) on both kinds of substrates has been obtained using a suitable number of laser pulses. The presence of spherical droplets, with a diameter ranging from tens of nm up to few μm was also detected on the substrate surface and their presence can be explained by the weak electron-phonon coupling of Au. The optical characterization of the samples on 2D and 3D substrates evidenced the surface plasmon resonance peak characteristic of the Au NPs although further improvements of the size-distribution are necessary for future applications in sensing devices.
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