Molecularly-mediated assemblies of plasmonic nanoparticles for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy applications

Guerrini, Luca and Graham, Duncan (2012) Molecularly-mediated assemblies of plasmonic nanoparticles for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy applications. Chemical Society Reviews, 41 (21). pp. 7085-7107. ISSN 0306-0012 (

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In recent years, Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) has experienced a tremendous increase of attention in the scientific community, expanding to a continuously wider range of diverse applications in nanoscience, which can mostly be attributed to significant improvements in nanofabrication techniques that paved the way for the controlled design of reliable and effective SERS nanostructures. In particular, the plasmon coupling properties of interacting nanoparticles are extremely intriguing due to the concentration of enormous electromagnetic enhancements at the interparticle gaps. Recently, great efforts have been devoted to develop new nanoparticle assembly strategies in suspension with improved control over hot-spot architecture and cluster structure, laying the foundation for the full exploitation of their exceptional potential as SERS materials in a wealth of chemical and biological sensing. In this review we summarize in an exhaustive and systematic way the state-of-art of plasmonic nanoparticle assembly in suspension specifically developed for SERS applications in the last 5 years, focusing in particular on those strategies which exploited molecular linkers to engineer interparticle gaps in a controlled manner. Importantly, the novel advances in this rather new field of nanoscience are organized into a coherent overview aimed to rationally describe the different strategies and improvements in the exploitation of colloidal nanoparticle assembly for SERS application to real problems.