28 August 2014 Plasmon-assisted chemical reactions revealed by high-vacuum tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
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Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) is the technique that combines the nanoscale spatial resolution of a scanning probe microscope and the highly sensitive Raman spectroscopy enhanced by the surface plasmons. It is suitable for chemical analysis at nanometer scale. Recently, TERS exhibited powerful potential in analyzing the chemical reactions at nanoscale. The high sensitivity and spatial resolution of TERS enable us to learn the reaction processes more clearly. More importantly, the chemical reaction in TERS is assisted by surface plasmons, which provides us an optical method to manipulate the chemical reactions at nanoscale. Here using our home-built high-vacuum tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (HV-TERS) setup, we successfully observed the plasmon-assisted molecule dimerization and dissociation reactions. In HV-TERS system, under laser illumination, 4-nitrobenzenethiol (4NBT) molecules can be dimerized to p,p’-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB), and dissociation reaction occurs for malachite green (MG) molecules. Using our HV-TERS setup, the dynamic processes of the reactions are clearly revealed. The chemical reactions can be manipulated by controlling the plasmon intensity through changing the power of the incident laser, the tunneling current and the bias voltage. We also investigated the role of plasmonic thermal effect in the reactions by measuring both the Stokes and anti- Stokes Raman peaks. Our findings extend the applications of TERS, which can help to study the chemical reactions and understand the dynamic processes at single molecular level, and even design molecules by the plasmon-assisted chemical reactions.
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Shuaicheng Lu, Shuaicheng Lu, Shaoxiang Sheng, Shaoxiang Sheng, Zhenglong Zhang, Zhenglong Zhang, Hongxing Xu, Hongxing Xu, Hairong Zheng, Hairong Zheng, "Plasmon-assisted chemical reactions revealed by high-vacuum tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 9169, Nanoimaging and Nanospectroscopy II, 91690F (28 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2062134; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2062134

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