Ag-modified silicon nanowires substrate for ultrasensitive surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy

Ming-Wang Shao; Ming-Liang Zhang; Ning-Bew Wong; Dorothy Duo-duo Ma; Hui Wang; Weiwei Chen; Shuit-Tong Lee
December 2008
Applied Physics Letters;12/8/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 23, p233118
Academic Journal
We report a unique substrate for surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy (SERS) based on silver nanoparticles-embedded silicon nanowires (SiNWs). The SiNWs were prepared by thermal evaporation of SiO powder via oxide-assisted growth, oxide removed with HF, and then used to reduce silver ions to form a highly decorated Ag-embedded surface. Such modified SiNWs substrates yielded ultrahigh SERS sensitivity, which could detect 25 μl of 1×10-16M Rhodamine 6G, 1×10-16M crystal violet, and 1×10-14M nicotine in methanol solutions. An Ag-modified SiNW strand could also enable SERS detection of 25 μl of 1×10-8 mg/ml calf thymus DNA. The possible mechanisms for the ultrahigh SERS sensitivity were discussed.


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