Metal Oxide Nanoparticle Mediated Enhanced Raman Scattering and Its Use in Direct Monitoring of Interfacial Chemical Reactions

Li Li, Tanya Hutter, Alexander S. Finnemore, Fu Min Huang, Jeremy J. Baumberg, Stephen R. Elliott, Ullrich Steiner, Sumeet Mahajan, Fumin Huang

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Metal oxide nanoparticles (MONPs) have widespread usage across many disciplines, but monitoring molecular processes at their surfaces in situ has not been possible. Here we demonstrate that MONPs give highly enhanced (X10(4)) Raman scattering signals from molecules at the interface permitting direct monitoring of their reactions, when placed on top of flat metallic surfaces. Experiments with different metal oxide materials and molecules indicate that the enhancement is generic and operates at the single nanoparticle level. Simulations confirm that the amplification is principally electromagnetic and is a result of optical modulation of the underlying plasmonic metallic surface by MONPs, which act as scattering antennae and couple light into the confined region sandwiched by the underlying surface. Because of additional functionalities of metal oxides as magnetic, photoelectrochemical and catalytic materials, enhanced Raman scattering mediated by MONPs opens up significant opportunities in fundamental science, allowing direct tracking and understanding of application-specific transformations at such interfaces. We show a first example by monitoring the MONP-assisted photocatalytic decomposition reaction of an organic dye by individual nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4242-4246
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 08 Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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