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10 May 2010 Influence of the roughness of metal templates on surface enhanced Raman scattering
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Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has been extensively investigated for rough metal surfaces fabricated by chemical etching and particles fabricated by different methods of nanolithography. Surface roughness is assumed to be necessary for SERS. Sharp edges of nanoparticles are desired for near-field enhancements and, consequently, contribute to the enhanced Raman effect. However, high porosity and roughness decreases the optical near-field strength due to losses by radiation. Arrays of nanoparticles fabricated by nanosphere lithography, are able to generate strong near-fields and do not have reduced roughness. Despite its advantages this fabrication method has an undesired effect: contaminant carbonaceous species attached to the nanoparticles generate strong Raman spectra and prevent their use for other molecules. We have investigated the effect of the particle roughness and preparation method on the characteristics of SERS spectra and how the contamination can be avoided. Samples were prepared by nanosphere lithography and using silver and gold nanoparticles in solution. Dye molecules and alkanethiols were used to decorate the nanoparticles in order to obtain enhanced Raman scattering. SERS spectra were acquired using a scanning confocal Raman microscope. Concentrated solution of alkanethiols reduce or remove completely the SERS spectra typical of the contaminants.
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Manuel R. Gonçalves and Othmar Marti "Influence of the roughness of metal templates on surface enhanced Raman scattering", Proc. SPIE 7712, Nanophotonics III, 77120L (10 May 2010);

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