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ACS Nano. 2014 Mar 25;8(3):3031-41. doi: 10.1021/nn500472r. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Demonstrating the capability of the high-performance plasmonic gallium-graphene couple.

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Duke University , Durham, North Carolina 27705, United States.


Metal nanoparticle (NP)-graphene multifunctional platforms are of great interest for exploring strong light-graphene interactions enhanced by plasmons and for improving performance of numerous applications, such as sensing and catalysis. These platforms can also be used to carry out fundamental studies on charge transfer, and the findings can lead to new strategies for doping graphene. There have been a large number of studies on noble metal Au-graphene and Ag-graphene platforms that have shown their potential for a number of applications. These studies have also highlighted some drawbacks that must be overcome to realize high performance. Here we demonstrate the promise of plasmonic gallium (Ga) nanoparticle (NP)-graphene hybrids as a means of modulating the graphene Fermi level, creating tunable localized surface plasmon resonances and, consequently, creating high-performance surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platforms. Four prominent peculiarities of Ga, differentiating it from the commonly used noble (gold and silver) metals are (1) the ability to create tunable (from the UV to the visible) plasmonic platforms, (2) its chemical stability leading to long-lifetime plasmonic platforms, (3) its ability to n-type dope graphene, and (4) its weak chemical interaction with graphene, which preserves the integrity of the graphene lattice. As a result of these factors, a Ga NP-enhanced graphene Raman intensity effect has been observed. To further elucidate the roles of the electromagnetic enhancement (or plasmonic) mechanism in relation to electron transfer, we compare graphene-on-Ga NP and Ga NP-on-graphene SERS platforms using the cationic dye rhodamine B, a drug model biomolecule, as the analyte.

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