Surface-enhanced spectroscopy on plasmonic oligomers assembled by AFM nanoxerography†
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF) from individual plasmonic oligomers are investigated by confocal Raman micro-spectroscopy and time-resolved fluorescence microscopy coupled to steady state micro-spectroscopy. The nanoparticle (NP) oligomers are made of either ligand protected Au or Au@SiO2 core–shell colloidal NPs, which were assembled into ordered arrays by atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoxerography. A strong dependence of the SERS emission on the polarization of incident light relative to the specific geometry of the plasmonic oligomer was observed. The SEF studies, performed on a large collection of NP oligomers of various known configurations showed interesting fluorophore decay rate modification and red-shift of the emission spectra. The experimental results are analyzed theoretically by employing finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations on equivalent realistic structures, within the local density of optical states (LDOS) framework. The presented results, together with the proven potential of the LDOS approach as a useful common tool for analyzing both SERS and SEF effects further the general understanding of plasmon-related phenomena in nanoparticle oligomers.