The impact of variation in the interparticle gaps in dimers and trimers of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), modified with Raman reporter (2-MOTP), on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) intensity, relative to the SERS intensity of a single AuNP, is investigated in this paper. The dimers, trimers, and single particles are investigated on the surfaces of four substrates: gold (Au), aluminium (Al), silver (Ag) film, and silicon (Si) wafer. The interparticle distance between AuNPs was tuned by selecting mercaptocarboxylic acids of various carbon chain lengths when each acid forms a mixed SAM with 2-MOTP. The SERS signal quantification was accomplished by combining maps of SERS intensity from a Raman microscope, optical microscope images (×100), and maps/images from AFM or SEM. In total, we analysed 1224 SERS nanoantennas (533 dimers, 648 monomers, and 43 trimers). The average interparticle gaps were measured using TEM. We observed inverse exponential trends for the Raman intensity ratio and enhancement factor ratioversusgap distance on all substrates. Gold substrate, followed by silicon, showed the highest Raman intensity ratio (9) and dimervs.monomer enhancement factor ratio (up to 4.5), in addition to the steepest inverse exponential curve. The results may help find a balance between SERS signal reproducibility and signal intensity that would be beneficial for future agglomerated NPs in SERS measurements. The developed method of 3 to 1 map combination by an increase in image transparency can be used to study structure-activity relationships on various substratesin situ, and it can be applied beyond SERS microscopy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Materials Science(all)