25 October 2006 The photodynamics of Ag thin metal film surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy substrates
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Abstract
Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has been widely demonstrated to be capable of single molecule detection. In addition to enhancement of Raman scattering, the substrates used for SERS also display other unique optical properties such as photoluminescence and blinking. In this work, the photoactivation of Ag thin metal films as it relates to the mechanism of SERS enhancement and the production of Ag cluster SERS active sites was explored. Specifically, the photodynamics of SERS-active thin Ag films were qualitatively studied using a combination of optical imaging and high and low resolution spectroscopy. A key hypothesis tested in this work addressed the role of oxygen in thin metal film photodynamics. Based on spectroscopic and kinetic differences observed from thin Ag films under both ambient and nitrogen atmospheres, a simple photochemical mechanism for blinking in optical phenomena was developed and tested. The proposed mechanism relies on the photoreduction of silver oxide to produce an active species, which was postulated to be silver clusters.
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Michele L. Jacobson, Jordan D. Corbman, Kathy L. Rowlen, "The photodynamics of Ag thin metal film surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy substrates", Proc. SPIE 6378, Chemical and Biological Sensors for Industrial and Environmental Monitoring II, 63780B (25 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.685136; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.685136
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