Preparation, structure, and optical properties of nanoporous gold thin films

Matthew C. Dixon, Thomas A. Daniel, Mitsunori Hieda, Detlef M. Smilgies, Moses H.W. Chan, David L. Allara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Thin nanoporous gold (np-Au) films, ranging in thickness from ∼40 to 1600 nm, have been prepared by selective chemical etching of Ag from Ag/Au alloy films supported on planar substrates. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging, synchrotron grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering, and N2 adsorption surface area measurements shows the films to exhibit a porous structure with intertwined gold fibrils exhibiting a spectrum of feature sizes and spacings ranging from several to hundreds of nanometers. Spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements (300-800 nm) reveal the onset of surface plasmon types of features with increase of film thicknesses into the ∼200 nm film thickness range. Raman scattering measurements for films functionalized with a self-assembled monolayer formed from 4-fluorobenzenethiol show significant enhancements which vary sharply with film thickness and etching times. The maximum enhancement factors reach ∼10 4 for 632.8 nm excitation, peak sharply in the ∼200 nm thickness range for films prepared at optimum etching times, and show high spot to spot reproducibility with ∼1 μm laser spot sizes, an indication that these films could be useful as durable, highly reproducible surface-enhanced Raman substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2414-2422
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 27 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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