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Issue 9, 2013
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Capillarity-constructed reversible hot spots for molecular trapping inside silver nanorod arrays light up ultrahigh SERS enhancement

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Abstract

SERS hot spots with outstanding enhancement ability can spontaneously form in a reversible and reproducible way by the self-approach of flexible silver nanorods driven by the capillary force of solvent evaporation, and at the same time the target analytes can be trapped in the top-closed silver nanorods in the solvent evaporation process. The Raman intensity of the top-closed vs. top-opened nanorod arrays was a factor of 100–1000 higher for SERS reporters such as p-aminothiophenol or crystal violet. Furthermore, triplicate measurements on long nanorod arrays at the same position show a variation of the Raman intensity <10%, demonstrating a good reproducibility of the enhancement. Moreover, we found that the self-approach is highly dependent on the nanorod length and the molecules with different adsorptivity have different SERS performance in the solvent evaporation process. This solvent evaporation-controlled self-approach is an extremely simple and efficient strategy for the spontaneous formation of Raman hot spots with outstanding enhancement ability. These characteristics promise a generic platform for molecule trapping and SERS sensing with high sensitivity and reproducibility, which can help to transform SERS into a practical analytical technique.

Graphical abstract: Capillarity-constructed reversible hot spots for molecular trapping inside silver nanorod arrays light up ultrahigh SERS enhancement

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 May 2013, accepted on 18 Jun 2013 and first published on 19 Jun 2013


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3SC51231B
Chem. Sci., 2013,4, 3490-3496

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    Capillarity-constructed reversible hot spots for molecular trapping inside silver nanorod arrays light up ultrahigh SERS enhancement

    H. Liu, Y. Sun, Z. Jin, L. Yang and J. Liu, Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 3490
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SC51231B

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