Abstract

To study the effect of roughness of a supporting substrate to Raman enhancement, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were prepared on Si with different degrees of roughness. To roughen the surface of silicon, electroless displacement was used first to grow AgNPs on smooth Si. By chemically removing the resulting AgNPs, an electrolessly roughened Si surface can be exposed. A second electroless displacement then was performed to grow new AgNPs on the roughened Si crystal to form surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates. Another approach, called the protecting method, also was proposed and demonstrated to structure AgNPs on surface-roughened Si. In this second method, electroless displacement also was used to grow AgNPs on the Si crystal. The resulting AgNPs then were protected by thio compounds to control removal of the outer layer of AgNPs, thereby exposing the underlying AgNPs located directly on the electroless roughened Si surface. Results indicate that the structure of AgNPs on roughened Si surfaces provides approximately two orders of magnitude higher enhancement than AgNPs on non-roughened Si, and the substrates prepared in this work are highly sensitive, with enhancement factors reaching 10<sup>8</sup>.

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