3 years ago

Properly Structured, Any Metal Can Produce Intense Surface Enhanced Raman Spectra

Properly Structured, Any Metal Can Produce Intense Surface Enhanced Raman Spectra
Philip P. F. Chidester, Galen D. Stucky, Martin Moskovits, Katherine N. Kanipe, Carl D. Meinhart
While silver and gold have been the dominant plasmonic metals used for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) since the field’s inception. We argue that virtually any metal, when appropriately nanostructured as a grating, has the potential to be an efficient SERS substrate. This conclusion provides the basis for making SERS a general tool for studying surface processes and catalysis and allows SERS substrates to be routinely based on earth-abundant, low-cost, and chemically interesting metals. We illustrate the above premise by producing highly performing SERS substrates using aluminum, nickel, and copper in addition to silver and gold as benchmarks. All five metals were found to yield high SERS intensities. The approximately three orders enhancement variation among the five substrates based on differing metals is ascribed mainly to local field effects associated with individual grating elements. This conclusion is supported by local field calculations. This suggests that the largest contribution to the enhancement is a (radiative) nonlocal grating-based (plasmonic) effect which is approximately equal for all of the gratings we studied regardless of metal from which they were fabricated, so long as the structural details of the gratings were kept constant.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b02637

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b02637

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