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Issue 7, 2018
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Nanocracking and metallization doubly defined large-scale 3D plasmonic sub-10 nm-gap arrays as extremely sensitive SERS substrates

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Abstract

Considering the technological difficulties in the existing approaches to form nanoscale gaps, a convenient method to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) sub-10 nm Ag/SiNx gap arrays has been demonstrated in this study, controlled by a combination of stress-induced nanocracking of a SiNx nanobridge and Ag nanofilm deposition. This scalable 3D plasmonic nanogap is specially suspended above a substrate, having a tunable nanogap width and large height-to-width ratio to form a nanocavity underneath. As a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrate, the 3D Ag/SiNx nanogap shows a large Raman enhancement factor of ∼108 and extremely high sensitivity for the detection of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) molecules, even down to 10−16 M, indicating an extraordinary capability for single-molecule detection. Further, we verified that the Fabry–Perot resonance occurred in the deep SiNx nanocavity under the Ag nanogap and contributed prominently to a tremendous enhancement of the local field in the Ag-nanogap zone and hence ultrasensitive SERS detection. This method circumvents the technological limitations to fabricate a sub-10 nm metal nanogap with unique features for wide applications in important scientific and technological areas.

Graphical abstract: Nanocracking and metallization doubly defined large-scale 3D plasmonic sub-10 nm-gap arrays as extremely sensitive SERS substrates

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Nov 2017, accepted on 31 Dec 2017 and first published on 02 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08646F
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 3171-3180
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    Nanocracking and metallization doubly defined large-scale 3D plasmonic sub-10 nm-gap arrays as extremely sensitive SERS substrates

    R. Pan, Y. Yang, Y. Wang, S. Li, Z. Liu, Y. Su, B. Quan, Y. Li, C. Gu and J. Li, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 3171
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08646F

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