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Issue 1, 2013
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Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from Au:Ag bimetallic nanoparticles: the effect of the molecular probe

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Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from molecular probes adsorbed on Au:Ag bimetallic nanoparticles with various compositions was investigated. Au:Ag bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs), with the diameters between 3–5 nm, were prepared and characterized by HRTEM and UV-Vis absorption. Their SERS properties were examined by using four different probe molecules, and compared with NPs made of pure Au or Ag. It is found that the SERS property of the alloy NPs is not only dependent on the Au:Ag ratio of the bimetallic NPs, but also on the chemical nature of the SERS probe. For the two positively charged SERS probes, oxazine 720 (Oxa) and Nile Blue A (NBA), the alloy NPs with higher Au content provided the largest SERS signal. However, for the probes 4-hydroxythiophenol (HTP) and thiophenol (TP), the best SERS performance was obtained for the highest Ag ratio. DFT calculations indicated a charge-transfer between Au and Ag atoms in the alloys, creating positively charged domains rich in Ag atom, and negatively charge regions dominated by Au atoms. It is proposed that the probe-specific enhancement is related to the selective binding of probe molecules to the partially charged surface domains in the alloys. Our results suggest that SERS substrate optimizations based on bimetallic nanoparticles should consider the nature of the probes and the electronic-induced effects from the alloys.

Graphical abstract: Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from Au:Ag bimetallic nanoparticles: the effect of the molecular probe

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Aug 2012, accepted on 29 Oct 2012 and first published on 30 Oct 2012


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21191B
Chem. Sci., 2013,4, 509-515

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    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from Au:Ag bimetallic nanoparticles: the effect of the molecular probe

    M. Fan, F. Lai, H. Chou, W. Lu, B. Hwang and A. G. Brolo, Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 509
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21191B

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