Abstract

We study finite-size effects in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from molecules adsorbed on small metal particles. Within an electromagnetic description of SERS, the enhancement of the Raman signal originates from the local field of the surface plasmon resonance in a nanoparticle. With decreasing particle sizes, this enhancement is reduced due to the size-dependent Landau damping of the surface plasmon. We show that, in small noble-metal particles, the reduction of interband screening in the surface layer leads to an additional increase in the local field acting on a molecule close to the metal surface. The overall size dependence of Raman signal enhancement is determined by the interplay between Landau damping and underscreening effects. Our calculations, based on a two-region model, show that the role of the surface layer increases for smaller nanoparticle sizes due to a larger volume fraction of the underscreened region.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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