Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra from molecules adsorbed on the surface of vertically aligned gold nanorod arrays exhibit a variation in enhancement factor (EF) as a function of excitation wavelength that displays little correlation with the elastic optical properties of the surface. The key to understanding this lack of correlation and to obtaining agreement between experimental and calculated EF spectra lies with consideration of randomly distributed, sub-10 nm gaps between nanorods forming the substrate. Intense fields in these enhancement “hot spots” make a dominant contribution to the Raman scattering and have a very different spectral profile to that of the elastic optical response. Detailed modeling of the electric field enhancement at both excitation and scattering wavelengths was used to quantitatively predict both the spectral profile and the magnitude of the observed EF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films