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Au coated PS nanopillars as a highly ordered and reproducible SERS substrate

: Kim, Y.-T.; Schilling, J.; Schweizer, S.L.; Sauer, G.; Wehrspohn, R.B.


Photonics and nanostructures 25 (2017), S.65-71
ISSN: 1569-4410
Fraunhofer IMWS ()

Noble metal nanostructures with nanometer gap size provide strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) which can be used to detect trace amounts of chemical and biological molecules. Although several approaches were reported to obtain active SERS substrates, it still remains a challenge to fabricate SERS substrates with high sensitivity and reproducibility using low-cost techniques. In this article, we report on the fabrication of Au sputtered PS nanopillars based on a template synthetic method as highly ordered and reproducible SERS substrates. The SERS substrates are fabricated by anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template-assisted infiltration of polystyrene (PS) resulting in hemispherical structures, and a following Au sputtering process. The optimum gap size between adjacent PS nanopillars and thickness of the Au layers for high SERS sensitivity are investigated. Using the Au sputtered PS nanopillars as an active SERS substrate, the Raman signal of 4-methylbenzenethiol (4-MBT) with a concentration down to 10−9 M is identified with good signal reproducibility, showing great potential as promising tool for SERS-based detection.