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Issue 25, 2015
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Bottom-up growth of Ag/a-Si@Ag arrays on silicon as a surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrate with high sensitivity and large-area uniformity

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Abstract

In this work, we demonstrated a bottom-up growth of Ag/a-Si@Ag nanosphere arrays on Si to work as a high performance SERS substrate. By a solid-state dewetting process, high density Ag nanoparticle arrays were formed on the Si substrate with large-area uniformity. With well-controlled thicknesses of a-Si and Ag outer-layer coating, the SERS properties can be optimized with the inter-particle spacing of the Ag/a-Si@Ag NSs limited to several nanometers. Based on the analysis of optical properties and SERS activities to p-Tc molecules, we concluded that the optimized SERS substrate performed with both high sensitivity and large-area uniformity. A detection limit as low as 10−14 M and an enhancement factor (EF) up to 108 were obtained. Furthermore, the wafer scale large-area uniformity and reproducibility of the SERS signal were confirmed with small standard deviation, e.g., 8% at 1076 cm−1 and 9% at 1593 cm−1. The generic approach presented here can be extended to create a new class of highly sensitive SERS sensors with large-area output, and may play an important role in device design and the corresponding diverse chemical and biological detection tasks.

Graphical abstract: Bottom-up growth of Ag/a-Si@Ag arrays on silicon as a surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrate with high sensitivity and large-area uniformity

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
10 Jan 2015
Accepted
10 Feb 2015
First published
10 Feb 2015

RSC Adv., 2015,5, 19229-19235
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Bottom-up growth of Ag/a-Si@Ag arrays on silicon as a surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrate with high sensitivity and large-area uniformity

L. Liu, M. Jin, Q. Zhou, R. Zhan, H. Chen, X. Gao, S. Senz, Z. Zhang and J. Liu, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 19229
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA00512D

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