A unique gold nanoparticle aggregate (GNA) system has been shown to be an excellent substrate for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) applications. Rhodamine 6G (R6G), a common molecule used for testing SERS activity on silver, but generally difficult to detect on gold substrates, has been found to readily bind to the GNA and exhibit strong SERS activity due to the unique surface chemistry afforded by sulfur species on the surface. This GNA system has yielded a large SERS enhancement of 10 7-10 9 in bulk solution for R6G, on par with or greater than any previously reported gold SERS substrate. SERS activity has also been successfully demonstrated for several biological molecules including adenine, L-cysteine, L-Iysine, and L-histidine for the first time on a gold SERS substrate, showing the potential of this GNA as a convenient and powerful SERS substrate for biomolecular detection. In addition, the SERS spectrum of R6G on single aggregates has been measured. We have shown that the special surface properties of the GNA, in conjunction with strong near-IR absorption, make it useful for SERS analysis of a wide variety of molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry