Au nanolenses for near-field focusing†
We report a novel strategy for the synthesis of Pt@Au nanorings possessing near-field focusing capabilities at the center through which single-particle surface enhanced Raman scattering could be readily observed. We utilized Pt@Au nanorings as a light-absorber; the absorbed light could be focused at the center with the aid of a Au nanoporous structure. We synthesized the Au nanolens structure through a Galvanic exchange process between Au ions and Ag block at the inner domain of the Pt@Au nanoring. For this step, Ag was selectively pre-deposited at the inner domain of the Pt@Au nanorings through electrochemical potential-tuned growth control and different surface energies with regard to the inner and outer boundaries of the nanoring. Then, the central nanoporous architecture was fabricated through the Galvanic exchange of sacrificial Ag with Au ions leading to the resulting Au nanoring with a Au nanoporous structure at the center. We monitored the shape-transformation by observing their corresponding localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) profiles. By varying the rim thickness of the starting Pt@Au nanorings, the inner diameter of the nanolens was accordingly tuned to maximize near-field focusing, which enabled us to obtain the reproducible and light-polarization independent measurements of single-particle SERS. Through theoretical simulation, the near-field electromagnetic field focusing capability was visualized and confirmed through single-particle SERS measurement showing an enhancement factor of 1.9 × 108 to 1.0 × 109.