Starfruit-shaped nanorods enhance SERS

Starfruit-shaped gold nanorods synthesised at Rice University in the USA could enhance surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) by a factor of 25 compared to similar smooth nanorods. The research appeared online in Langmuir (doi: 10.1021/la300218z).

Gold nanoparticles take on the shape of starfruit in a chemical bath with silver nitrate, ascorbic acid and gold chloride. Photo courtesy Zubarev Lab/Rice University

“There’s a great deal of interest in sensing applications,” said Eugene Zubarev, an associate professor of chemistry. “SERS takes advantage of the ability of gold to enhance electromagnetic fields locally. Fields will concentrate at specific defects, like the sharp edges of our nanostarfruits, and that could help detect the presence of organic molecules at very low concentration.”

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