A germanium disk on which silver nanoparticles have been deposited by galvanic displacement is shown to be an inexpensive substrate for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The preparation, which is based on spontaneous reduction of silver cations at the surface of a germanium disk, is quick and requires nothing more than a Petri dish. The SERS enhancement of silver and gold substrates prepared in this way was measured using benzenethiol and was compared to enhancement of Klarite<sup>®</sup>, a commercially available gold-coated nanoengineered SERS substrate. The enhancement provided by electrolessly deposited metals was found to be superior over Klarite<sup>®</sup> and the reproducibility was generally below 15%. Furthermore, unlike the case for nanoengineered substrates, germanium disks can be polished and reused.
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