Gold aggregates on silica templates and decorated silica arrays for SERS applications
In this work, we report the fabrication and characterization of size controllable gold nanoparticles (NPs) aggregates for their application in surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Aggregates were prepared using two methodologies: (i) by using silica particles arrays as a template to agglomerate gold NPs between the inter-particle interstices, and (ii) by functionalizing silica particles to be used as support to graft gold nanoparticles and thus to form decorated silica particle arrays. These substrates were used in the detection of Rhodamine 6G producing an enhancement factor (EF) from 104 to 106 that is associated to the increment of hot spot (HS) sites, and the fact that plasmon resonance from aggregates and absorption wavelength of test molecules are closely in resonance with excitation wavelength. The EF was also reduced when the plasmon resonance was red-shifted as a result of the increment of aggregate size. In spite of this, the EF is high enough to make these SERS substrates excellent candidates for sensing applications.
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