Characterisation of a Gold Nanorod Sol–Gel Utilising Inter-particle Coupling to Yield High Refractive Index Sensitivity
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The development of gold nanorod plasmonic sol–gel polymer is presented and characterised with respect to its sensitivity to refractive index change. Structural characterisation of the polymer was conducted using Raman microscopy and energy dispersion spectroscopy while plasmonic function was investigated using UV/VIS spectroscopy. Refractive index sensitivities utilising the peak wavelength shift of the localised surface plasmon resonance were shown to be of the order of 2,338 nm per refractive index unit; in addition, peak absorbance was considered as an alternative measure. Furthermore, demonstration of sensitivity to biomolecule interaction has been shown as a model study. Strong photoluminescence was observed during Raman studies that restricts the potential use of the polymer as a surface-enhanced Raman substrate.