One of the most important obstacles for the application of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is the poor reproducibility of SERS active substrates: SERS intensity can be varied from one substrate to another and moreover along the one substrate surface. Reproducible SERS substrate can be prepared through introduction of highly ordered metal array, where light focusing is achieved through excitation of surface plasmon-polaritons (SPPs). In this work, excimer laser patterning of poly(methyl methacrylate) followed by silver evaporation is proposed as an effective way for the creation of reproducible and effective surface plasmon-polaritons (SPP)-based SERS substrate. Detailed theoretical and experimental studies were performed to optimize structure parameter for effective SPP excitation. It was found that the narrow range of grating periodicity and metal thickness exist, where SPPs can be most efficiently excited. Despite the fact that SERS response was almost always achieved, the enhancement factor was found to vary more with the effectivity of SPP excitation. When the real structure parameters were set to optimal for SPP excitation, a SERS enhancement factor was achieved up to four times.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films