Plasmonic high-entropy carbides

Arrigo Calzolari, Corey Oses, Cormac Toher, Marco Esters, Xiomara Campilongo, Sergei P. Stepanoff, Douglas E. Wolfe, Stefano Curtarolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Discovering multifunctional materials with tunable plasmonic properties, capable of surviving harsh environments is critical for advanced optical and telecommunication applications. We chose high-entropy transition-metal carbides because of their exceptional thermal, chemical stability, and mechanical properties. By integrating computational thermodynamic disorder modeling and time-dependent density functional theory characterization, we discovered a crossover energy in the infrared and visible range, corresponding to a metal-to-dielectric transition, exploitable for plasmonics. It was also found that the optical response of high-entropy carbides can be largely tuned from the near-IR to visible when changing the transition metal components and their concentration. By monitoring the electronic structures, we suggest rules for optimizing optical properties and designing tailored high-entropy ceramics. Experiments performed on the archetype carbide HfTa4C5 yielded plasmonic properties from room temperature to 1500K. Here we propose plasmonic transition-metal high-entropy carbides as a class of multifunctional materials. Their combination of plasmonic activity, high-hardness, and extraordinary thermal stability will result in yet unexplored applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5993
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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