Ultrafast plasmon dynamics and evanescent field distribution of reproducible surface-enhanced Raman-scattering substrates
in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2009)
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a potent tool in bioanalytical science because the technique combines high sensitivity with molecular specificity. However, the widespread and routine use of SERS in quantitative biomedical diagnostics is limited by tight requirements on the reproducibility of the noble metal substrates used. To solve this problem, we recently introduced a novel approach to reproducible SERS substrates. In this contribution, we apply ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopy to investigate the photo-induced collective charge-carrier dynamics in such substrates, which represents the fundamental origin of the SERS mechanism. The ultrafast experiments are accompanied by scanning-near field optical microscopy and SERS experiments to correlate the appearance of plasmon dynamics with the resultant evanescent field distribution and the analytically relevant SERS enhancement.