Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is an analytical sensing method that provides label-free detection, molecularly specific information, and extremely high sensitivity. The Raman enhancement that makes this method attractive is mainly attributed to the local amplification of the incident electromagnetic field that occurs when a surface plasmon mode is excited at a metallic nanostructure. Here, we present a simple, cost effective method for creating flexible, large area SERS-active substrates using a new technique we call shadow mask assisted evaporation (SMAE). The advantage of large, flexible SERS substrates such as these is they have more area for multiplexing and can be incorporated into irregular surfaces such as clothing. We demonstrate the formation of four different types of nanostructure arrays (pillar, nib, ellipsoidal cylinder, and triangular tip) by controlling the evaporation angle, substrate rotation, and deposition rate of metals onto anodized alumina nanoporous membranes as large as 27 mm. In addition, we present experimental results showing how a hybrid structure comprising of gold nanospheres embedded in a silver nano-pillar structure can be used to obtain a 50× SERS enhancement over the raw nanoparticles themselves.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)