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Amorphous Carbon Generation as a Photocatalytic Reaction on DNA-Assembled Gold and Silver Nanostructures

by Christian Heck 1,2,3,†, Yuya Kanehira 1, Janina Kneipp 2,3 and Ilko Bald 1,2,*
Institute of Chemistry, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24–25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Richard-Willstätter-Str. 11, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Department of Chemistry & SALSA, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Brook-Taylor-Str. 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: School of Chemistry, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel.
Academic Editor: Veikko Linko
Molecules 2019, 24(12), 2324;
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trend in DNA Nanotechnology)
Background signals from in situ-formed amorphous carbon, despite not being fully understood, are known to be a common issue in few-molecule surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Here, discrete gold and silver nanoparticle aggregates assembled by DNA origami were used to study the conditions for the formation of amorphous carbon during SERS measurements. Gold and silver dimers were exposed to laser light of varied power densities and wavelengths. Amorphous carbon prevalently formed on silver aggregates and at high power densities. Time-resolved measurements enabled us to follow the formation of amorphous carbon. Silver nanolenses consisting of three differently-sized silver nanoparticles were used to follow the generation of amorphous carbon at the single-nanostructure level. This allowed observation of the many sharp peaks that constitute the broad amorphous carbon signal found in ensemble measurements. In conclusion, we highlight strategies to prevent amorphous carbon formation, especially for DNA-assembled SERS substrates. View Full-Text
Keywords: amorphous carbon; DNA origami; SERS; nanoparticle dimers; nanolenses amorphous carbon; DNA origami; SERS; nanoparticle dimers; nanolenses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heck, C.; Kanehira, Y.; Kneipp, J.; Bald, I. Amorphous Carbon Generation as a Photocatalytic Reaction on DNA-Assembled Gold and Silver Nanostructures. Molecules 2019, 24, 2324.

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