Abstract

Power-flow focusing in metal nanostructures is attracting growing attention to design efficient and tunable substrates for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and to propose a more reliable alternative to random surfaces for single-molecule sensing. In this paper, finite-difference time-domain simulations were used to explore the near-field amplification features of short chains of gold (Au) nanospheres. Short chains of gold spheres were found to induce stronger field enhancements than infinite chains due to a more efficient trapping and focusing of the incident energy. In addition, interaction with a suitably tuned SiO2/Au double-layer substrate was demonstrated to widen the resonance’s bandwidth, meeting another practical need for SERS.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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