Thin nanoporous gold (np-Au) films, ranging in thickness from ∼40 to 1600 nm, have been prepared by selective chemical etching of Ag from Ag/Au alloy films supported on planar substrates. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging, synchrotron grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering, and N2 adsorption surface area measurements shows the films to exhibit a porous structure with intertwined gold fibrils exhibiting a spectrum of feature sizes and spacings ranging from several to hundreds of nanometers. Spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements (300-800 nm) reveal the onset of surface plasmon types of features with increase of film thicknesses into the ∼200 nm film thickness range. Raman scattering measurements for films functionalized with a self-assembled monolayer formed from 4-fluorobenzenethiol show significant enhancements which vary sharply with film thickness and etching times. The maximum enhancement factors reach ∼10 4 for 632.8 nm excitation, peak sharply in the ∼200 nm thickness range for films prepared at optimum etching times, and show high spot to spot reproducibility with ∼1 μm laser spot sizes, an indication that these films could be useful as durable, highly reproducible surface-enhanced Raman substrates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces