Nanostructure design for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy - prospects and limits

Sanshui Xiao, Niels Asger Mortensen, Antti-Pekka Jauho

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    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) allows single-molecule detection due to the strong field localization occurring at sharp bends or kinks of the metal-vacuum interface. An important question concerns the limits of the signal enhancement that can be achieved via a judicious design of the surface. By using a specific example of a technologically realizable nanopatterned surface, we demonstrate that while very high enhancement factors (~10^12) can be found for an ideal surface, these are unlikely to be achieved in laboratory samples, because even a minute, inevitable rounding-off strongly suppresses the enhancement, as well as shifts the optimal frequency. Our simulations indicate that the geometric enhancement factors are unlikely to exceed ~10^8 for real samples, and that it is necessary to consider the geometric uncertainty to reliably predict the frequency for maximum enhancement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number08022
    JournalJournal of the European Optical Society - Rapid Publications
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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