Silver Nanoprisms vs. Silver Nanospheres: The Battle Ensues.

Hey Everyone,

So far this summer has been exciting… and confusing. I have spent the majority of my summer working on optimizing substrates for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). I began the summer synthesizing nanoprisms of different sizes to determine what size had the greatest effect on the SERS enhancement factor (EF) and comparing the produced EF to the EF of our current subsrtate, silver nanospheres. It is hypothesized in the literature and from an analysis of the theory behind the SERS EF phenomena that nanoprisms will create greater EFs due to the local surface plasmon resonance and the dipoles and quadropoles of the nanoprism.

After many experiments designed to test this hypothesis, I have found that my silver nanoprisms are not creating a larger EF than the nanospheres we have used in the past. This may be due to a number of problems with the nanoprisms including the stabilizing ligand and the concentration of the nanoprism solution. Because the nanoprisms have not produced the desired effect, I have decided to conduct a series of tests on nanospheres with the goal of modifying them to produce the greatest EF possible.

Having several ideas of how to do this, I was very excited to begin my new experiments when a problem occurred. The chemical used in nanosphere synthesis has become inactive, bringing all of my research to a standstill over the past week. Although I have been slowed, my hope is to develop a modification to this synthesis over the next few weeks as soon as new chemicals arrive.

Hope everyone’s research is going well.