Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Dye and Thiol Molecules Adsorbed on Triangular Silver Nanostructures: A Study of Near-Field Enhancement, Localization of Hot-Spots, and Passivation of Adsorbed Carbonaceous Species
Journal of Nanotechnology
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) of thiols and dye molecules adsorbed on triangular silver nanostructures was investigated. The SERS hot-spots are localized at the edges and corners of the silver triangular particles. AFM and SEM measurements permit to observe many small clusters formed at the edges of triangular particles fabricated by nanosphere lithography. Finite-element calculations show that near-field enhancements can reach values of more than 200 at visible wavelengths, in the
... wavelengths, in the gaps between small spherical particles and large triangular particles, although for the later no plasmon resonance was found at the wavelengths investigated. The regions near the particles showing strong near-field enhancement are well correlated with spatial localization of SERS hot-spots done by confocal microscopy. Silver nanostructures fabricated by thermal evaporation present strong and fast fluctuating SERS activity, due to amorphous carbon contamination. Thiols and dye molecules seem to be able to passivate the undesired SERS activity on fresh evaporated silver.