A new reactive ink based on a silver citrate complex is proposed for a photochemical route to surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy active substrates with controllable extinction spectra. The drop-cast test of the ink reveals homogeneous nucleation of silver and colloid particle growth originating directly from photochemical in situ reduction in droplets, while the following evaporation of the deposited ink produces small nano- and micron-size particles. The prepared nanostructures and substrates were accurately characterized by electron microscopy methods and optical extinction spectroscopy. Varying the duration of UV irradiation allows tuning the morphology of individual silver nanoparticles forming hierarchical ring structures with numerous “hot spots” for most efficient Raman enhancement. Raman measurements of probe molecules of rhodamine 6G and methylene blue reached the largest signal enhancement of 106 by the resonance effects.
- Plasmon resonance
- Reactive ink
- Silver nanostructures
- Surface-enhanced Raman scattering