Surface-enhanced raman scattering substrates fabricated using electroless plating on polymer-templated nanostructures

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Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has great potential as an analytical technique based on the unique molecular signatures presented even by structurally similar analyte species and the minimal interference of scattering from water when sampling in aqueous environments. Unfortunately, analytical SERS applications have been restricted on the basis of limitations in substrate design. Herein, we present a simple SERS substrate that exploits electroless deposition onto a nanoparticle-seeded polymer scaffold that can be fabricated quickly and without specialized equipment. The polymer-templated nanostructures have stable enhancement factors that are comparable to the traditional silver film over nanospheres (AgFON) substrate, broad localized surface plasmon resonance spectra that allow various Raman excitation wavelengths to be utilized, and tolerance for both aqueous and organic environments, even after 5 day exposure. These polymer-templated nanostructures have an advantage over the AgFON substrate based on the ease of fabrication; specifically, the ability to generate fresh SERS substrates outside the laboratory environment will facilitate the application of SERS to new analytical spectroscopy applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5862-5867
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 3 2008

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