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Open AccessArticle

Gold Nanofilm-Coated Porous Silicon as Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrate

Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT), Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
Department of Applied Materials and Optoelectronic Engineering, National Chi Nan University, Nantou 54561, Taiwan
Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan
Department of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(22), 4806; (registering DOI)
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 10 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonics in Asia)
Metallic film-coated porous silicon (PSi) has been reported as a lucrative surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrate. The solution-based fabrication process is facile and easy; however, it requires additional reducing agent and extra chemical treatment, as well as hinders the suitability as a reproducible SERS substrate due to irregular hot spot generation via irregular deposition of metallic nanocrystallites. To address this issue, we report a unique one-step electronic beam (e-beam) physical vapor deposition (PVD) method to fabricate a consistent layer of gold (Au) nanofilm on PSi. Moreover, to achieve the best output as a SERS substrate, PSi prepared by electrochemical etching was used as template to generate an Au layer of irregular surface, offering the surface roughness feature of the PSi–Au thin film. Furthermore, to investigate the etching role and Au film thickness, Au-nanocrystallites of varying thickness (5, 7, and 10 nm) showing discrete surface morphology were characterized and evaluated for SERS effect using Rhodamine 6G (R6G). The SERS signal of R6G adsorbed on PSi–Au thin film showed a marked enhancement, around three-fold enhancement factor (EF), than the Si–Au thin film. The optimal SERS output was obtained for PSi–Au substrate of 7 nm Au film thickness. This study thus indicates that the SERS enhancement relies on the Au film thickness and the roughness feature of the PSi–Au substrate. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrochemical etching; surface-enhanced Raman scattering; porous silicon; gold nanofilm; hot spots electrochemical etching; surface-enhanced Raman scattering; porous silicon; gold nanofilm; hot spots
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khalil, I.; Chou, C.-M.; Tsai, K.-L.; Hsu, S.; Yehye, W.A.; Hsiao, V.K.S. Gold Nanofilm-Coated Porous Silicon as Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrate. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 4806.

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