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Hexagonally arranged arrays of urchin-like Ag hemispheres decorated with Ag nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates

Abstract

The surface topography of noble metal particles is a significant factor in tailoring surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) properties. Here, we present a simple fabrication route to hexagonally arranged arrays of surface-roughened urchinlike Ag hemispheres (Ag-HSs) decorated with Ag nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) for highly active and reproducible SERS substrates. The urchin-like Ag-HS arrays are achieved by sputtering Ag onto the top surface of a highly ordered porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template to form ordered arrays of smooth Ag-HSs and then by electrodepositing Ag-NPs onto the surface of each Ag-HS. Owing to the ordered arrangement of the Ag-HSs and the improved surface roughness, the urchin-like hierarchical Ag-HS arrays can provide sufficient and uniform “hot spots” for reproducible and highly active SERS effects. Using the urchin-like Ag-HS arrays as SERS substrates, 10−7 M dibutyl phthalate (a member of plasticizers family) and 1.5 × 10−5 M PCB-77 (one congener of polychlorinated biphenyl, a notorious class of pollutants) are identified, showing promising potential for these substrates in the rapid recognition of organic pollutants.

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Correspondence to Guowen Meng.

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Tang, H., Meng, G., Li, Z. et al. Hexagonally arranged arrays of urchin-like Ag hemispheres decorated with Ag nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates. Nano Res. 8, 2261–2270 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-015-0737-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-015-0737-7

Keywords

  • Ag-hemisphere
  • urchin-like
  • surface roughness
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)