Understanding chemical enhancements of surface-enhanced Raman scattering using a Raman bond model for extended systems

Ran Chen, Lasse Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this work, we extend a previously developed Raman bond model to periodic slab systems for interpreting chemical enhancements of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The Raman bond model interprets chemical enhancements as interatomic charge flow modulations termed Raman bonds. Here, we show that the Raman bond model offers a unified interpretation of chemical enhancements for localized and periodic systems. As a demonstration of the Raman bond model, we study model systems consisting of CO and pyridine molecules on Ag clusters and slabs. We find that for both localized and periodic systems, the dominant Raman bonds are distributed near the molecule-metal interface and, therefore, the chemical enhancements are determined by a common Raman bond pattern. The effects of surface coverage, thickness, and roughness on the chemical enhancements have been studied, which shows that decreasing surface coverage or creating surface roughness increases chemical enhancements. In both of these cases, the inter-fragment charge flow connectivity is improved due to more dynamic polarization at the interface. The chemical enhancement is shown to scale with the inter-fragment charge flow to the fourth power. Since the inter-fragment charge flow is determined by the charge transfer excitation energy, the Raman bond model is connected to the transition-based analysis of chemical enhancements. We also show that the SERS spectra of localized and periodic systems normalized by inter-fragment charge flows can be unified. In summary, the Raman bond model offers a unique framework for understanding SERS spectra in terms of Raman bond distributions and offers a connection between localized and periodic model systems of SERS studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184705
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Nov 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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