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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Feb 14;129(6):1658-62.

Observation of a small number of molecules at a metal nanogap arrayed on a solid surface using surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

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  • 1Division of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan.


In situ Raman spectroscopic measurements with 785 nm excitation were carried out in aqueous solutions containing bipyridine derivatives. Intense Raman signals were observed when the Ag dimer structure was optimized. The SERS activity was dependent upon on the structure of the Ag dimer with a distinct gap distance, suggesting that the intense SERS originates from the gap part of the dimer. Characteristic time-dependent spectral changes were observed. Not only a spectrum which was the superposition of two bipyridine spectra but also spectra which can be assigned to one of the bipyridine derivatives were frequently observed. Observation using solutions with different concentrations proved that the spectra originated from very small numbers of molecules at the active SERS site of the dimer.

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