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Nano Lett. 2009 Nov;9(11):3922-9. doi: 10.1021/nl902134r.

Plasmonic nanogalaxies: multiscale aperiodic arrays for surface-enhanced Raman sensing.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Photonics Center, Boston University, 8 Saint Mary's Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215-2421, USA.


The accurate and reproducible control of intense electromagnetic fields localized on the nanoscale is essential for the engineering of optical sensors based on the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect. In this paper, using rigorous generalized Mie theory (GMT) calculations and a combined top-down/bottom-up nanofabrication approach, we design and experimentally demonstrate approximately 10(8) spatially averaged, reproducible SERS enhancement in deterministic aperiodic arrays of Au nanoparticles with different length scales. Deterministic aperiodic arrays of 200 nm diameter nanocylinders are first fabricated using electron-beam lithography on quartz substrates, and smaller size (30 nm diameter) Au nanoparticles are subsequently positioned by in situ Au reduction at regions of maximum field enhancement. These multiscale structures, which we call "plasmonic nanogalaxies", feature a cascade enhancement effect due to the strong electromagnetic interactions of small satellite nanoparticles with localized fields in aperiodic arrays of nanocylinders. The development of SERS substrates based on aperiodic arrays with different length scales provides a novel strategy to engineer plasmon-enhanced biosensors with chemical fingerprinting capability.

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