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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 32, Number 8
BKCSDE 32(8)
August 20, 2011 

Comparative Characteristics of Gold-Gold and Gold-Silver Nanogaps Probed by Raman Scattering Spectroscopy of 1,4-Phenylenediisocyanide
Kwan Kim*, Jeong-Yong Choi, Dongha Shin, Hyang Bong Lee, Kuan Soo Shin*,
Surface-enhanced raman scattering, 1,4-Phenylenediisocyanide, Au-Ag nanogap, Au-Au nanogap, Volatile organic chemical
A nanogap formed by a metal nanoparticle and a flat metal substrate is one kind of “hot site” for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The characteristics of a typical nanogap formed by a planar Au and either an Au and Ag nanoparticle have been well studied using 4-aminobenzenethiol (4-ABT) as a probe. 4-ABT is, however, an unusual molecule in the sense that its SERS spectral feature is dependent not only on the kinds of SERS substrates but also on the measurement conditions; thus further characterization is required using other adsorbate molecules such as 1,4-phenylenediisocyanide (1,4-PDI). In fact, no Raman signal was observable when 1,4-PDI was selfassembled on a flat Au substrate, but a distinct spectrum was obtained when 60 nm-sized Au or Ag nanoparticles were adsorbed on the pendent –NC groups of 1,4-PDI. This is definitely due to the electromagnetic coupling between the localized surface plasmon of Au or Ag nanoparticle with the surface plasmon polariton of the planar Au substrate, allowing an intense electric field to be induced in the gap between them. A higher Raman signal was observed when Ag nanoparticles were attached to 1,4-PDI, irrespective of the excitation wavelength, and especially the highest Raman signal was measured at the 632.8 nm excitation (with the enhancement factor on the order of ~103), followed by the excitation at 568 and 514.5 nm, in agreement with the finite-difference timedomain calculation. From a separate potential-dependent SERS study, the voltage applied to the planar Au appeared to be transmitted without loss to the Au or Ag nanoparticles, and from the study of the effect of volatile organics, the voltage transmission from Au or Ag nanoparticles to the planar Au also appeared as equally probable to that from the planar Au to the Au or Ag nanoparticles in a nanogap electrode. The response of the Au-Ag nanogap to the external stimuli was, however, not the same as that of the Au-Au nanogap.
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