Silicon nanoparticles as Raman scattering enhancers†
In this communication we demonstrate the large amplification values of the Raman signal of organic molecules attached to silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs). Light induced Mie resonances of high refractive index particles generate strong evanescent electromagnetic (EM) fields, thus boosting the Raman signal of species attached to the nanoparticles. The interest of this process is justified by the wide range of experimental configurations that can be implemented including photonic crystals, the sharp spectral resonances easily tuneable with the particle size, the biocompatibility and biodegradability of silicon, and the possibility of direct analysis of molecules that do not contain functional groups with high affinity for gold and silver. Additionally, silicon nanoparticles present stronger field enhancement due to Mie resonances at larger sizes than gold.