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Research Letters in Optics
Volume 2009, Article ID 475941, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/475941
Research Letter

Surface Plasmons and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectra of Aggregated and Alloyed Gold-Silver Nanoparticles

1Department of Physics, The Jack and Pearl Resnick Institute for Advanced Technology, Bar-Ilan University, 52900 Ramat-Gan, Israel
2Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Bar-Ilan University, 52900 Ramat-Gan, Israel

Received 17 February 2009; Accepted 10 May 2009

Academic Editor: Roberto Morandotti

Copyright © 2009 Y. Fleger and M. Rosenbluh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Effects of size, morphology, and composition of gold and silver nanoparticles on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) are studied with the purpose of optimizing SERS substrates. Various gold and silver films made by evaporation and subsequent annealing give different morphologies and compositions of nanoparticles and thus different position of the SPR peak. SERS measurements of 4-mercaptobenzoic acid obtained from these films reveal that the proximity of the SPR peak to the exciting laser wavelength is not the only factor leading to the highest Raman enhancement. Silver nanoparticles evaporated on top of larger gold nanoparticles show higher SERS than gold-silver alloyed nanoparticles, in spite of the fact that the SPR peak of alloyed nanoparticles is narrower and closer to the excitation wavelength. The highest Raman enhancement was obtained for substrates with a two-peak particle size distribution for excitation wavelengths close to the SPR.