2011 Volume 27 Issue 8 Pages 775
The nature of “hot spots” in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and the novel fabrication of Ag thin films for efficient SERS measurements are the main focus of this review. By using 4-aminobenzenthiol or 1,4-phenylenediisocyanide molecules we can characterize the nanogap formed by a metal nanoparticle and a flat metal substrate, or the gap between two spherical metal nanoparticles. These nanogaps are indeed SERS-active sites and the apparent size of “hot spots” is found to be very limited. To use SERS for routine chemical identifications, the substrates should be stable, reproducibly prepared, inexpensive, and easy to make. We introduce a method for the facile fabrication of Ag thin films, simply by soaking glass substrates in ethanolic solutions of AgNO3 and butylamine, and their application as efficient SERS substrates. Ag-coated glass capillary and Ag deposited magnetic nanoparticles can be used for the microanalysis of bio- and hazardous chemicals.