Corresponding Author

Zhong qun TIAN


Recently metal nanowires (nanorods) have aroused tremendous interest because of their novel properties and potential applications in wide fields [1] . Many two?dimensional nanowire arrays of semiconductors and metals with different diameter and length have been made by using template synthesis method. To characterize the novel optical, electronic and magnetic properties of these materials, UV?Vis and fluorescence spectroscopies are two of the most wildly used methods [2, 3] . Raman spectroscopy has, however, only been applied to the characterizing of semiconductor nanowires and carbon nanotubes [4,5] . Important and meaningful information can be obtained in these cases, as some forbidden Raman modes in the bulk materials become Raman active [4, 5] . Raman spectroscopy is apparently not suitable to study metal nanowires since it can only detect the mechanical vibration bands located in the extremely low frequency region. Consequently, an alternative way has to be established to study the metal nano?wires (?rods) with Raman spectroscopy. In the present work, we have taken the probe molecule strategy and used surface?enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to characterize metal nanorods (nanowires). It is well known that for a molecule which interacts strongly with a surface, its vibrational band frequency and shape are very sensitive to the electronic property, the chemical environment and the morphology of the surface. Hence Raman spectroscopy has long been used to analyze the atomic structures and the electronic properties of the surface indirectly through assessing carefully the spectral changes of the adsorbate known as a probe molecule. On that account, it is of great interest to diagnose the electronic structures of the metal nanorods with the vibrational spectrum of a probe molecule. We have examined the changes in the electronic properties of the nanorods through analyzing the spectral changes of the probe molecule. For this purpose a typical SERS molecule of SCN - was employed. The nanorod arrays of Au and Cu with different diameter from about 15 nm to 130 nm were fabricated electrochemically by means of the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. To partially expose metal nanowires with various lengths, the AAO template was chemically etched off to a certain extent by an aqueous solution of phosphoric acid or sodium hydroxide as shown in Fig. 1. After the template was etched off, the nanowires can be characterized by TEM, see Fig. 2. The tapping mode AFM image was obtained on a scanning probe microscope (Nanoscope IIIa). SERS measurements were performed on a confocal microprobe Raman system (LabRam I).

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