Theory of hyperbolic stratified nanostructures for surface enhanced Raman scattering.
We theoretically investigate the enhancement of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) using hyperbolic stratified nanostructures and compare to metal nanoresonators. The photon Green function of each nanostructure within its environment is first obtained from a semi-analytical modal theory, which is used in a quantum optics formalism of the molecule-nanostructure interaction to model the SERS spectrum. An intuitive methodology is presented for calculating the single molecule enhancement factor (SMEF), which is also able to predict known experimental SERS enhancement factors of an example gold nano-dimer. We elucidate the important figures-of-merit of the enhancement and explore these for different designs. We find that the use of hyperbolic stratified materials can enhance the photonic local density of states (LDOS) by close to 2 times in comparison to pure metal nanostructures, when both designed to work at the same operating wavelengths. However, the increased LDOS is accompanied by higher electric field concentration within the lossy hyperbolic material, which leads to increased quenching that serves to reduce the overall detected SERS enhancement in the far field. For nanoresonators with resonant localized surface plasmon wavelengths in the near-infrared, the SMEF for the hyperbolic stratified nanostructure is approximately an order of magnitude lower than the pure metal counterpart. Conversely, we show that by detecting the Raman signal using a near-field probe, hyperbolic materials can provide an improvement in SERS enhancement compared to using pure metal nanostructures when the probe is sufficiently close (<50 nm) to the Raman active molecule at the plasmonic hotspot.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.11162
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