Alternate ablation of metallic Bi, Cu, Fe.and insulator Al2O3. targets in vacuum have been used to produced
nanocomposite films by pulsed laser deposition. The optical properties of the films are studied during growth by in situ
reflectivity measurements, which are also used to control the process. The structure of the films is characterised by high
resolution transmission electron microscopy. The results show that films with metallic nanocrystals 1.5–5.0 nm in diameter
and high refractive index can be easily produced, the size and in-depth distribution being easily controlled through the
number of pulses in the metallic and host targets, respectively. The growth mechanism, the role of an argon environment
during growth, and the stability of the clusters upon annealing, are discussed. q1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
Nanoclusters , Optical properties , Growth mechanism , Amorphous host , High refractive index , Alternate ablation