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The fabrication and use of elevated noble metallic nanostructures

The extreme sensitivity of SERS is dominated by the electromagnetic enhancement, referring to the intense, spatially varying E fields produced by plasmonic coupling between closely spaced metal nanoparticles. A particularly intriguing feature of the electromagnetic enhancement is associated with the presence of the so-called “nanogap” effect where local SERS enhancement factors (EF) sufficient for detection of single molecules have been observed.

Theoretical analysis using model systems consisting of closely spaced metal nanostructures have identified the size, shape, gap distance, the wavelength and polarization of the incident light as key factors that govern the overall EF within the nanogap. However, the large enhancement factors expected to occur for gap sizes on the order of a few nm remain difficult to confirm primarily because the resolution necessary for generating such features is beyond the capabilities of conventional EBL. The invention addressess the difficulities by providing elevated or suspended noble metallic nanostructural arrays are fabricated and can be used as surface enhanced Raman scattering substrates for chemical and biological detection, nanoplasmonic devices, and optoelectronic devices and applications.

Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Phone: (865) 576-4680
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