The local generation of nanoparticles was performed in two different ways: either directly under the surface of the silica xerogel using a visible continuous laser, or inside the deep volume of the dielectric matrix using a pulsed femtosecond laser irradiation at a low repetition rate.

This method could be extended to other dielectrics shaped as monoliths or films and may also involve other nano-objects such as metallic nanoparticles or semiconducting nanorods.

A full description of the technique can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.