Research Highlights

Plasmonic porous ceramics based on zirconia-toughened alumina functionalized with silver nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman scattering

Tongwei Guoa, Md Nurul Karim, Kowsik Ghosh, M. Mangir Murshed, Kurosch Rezwan, Michael Maas

Open Ceramics (2022), 9, 100228

We demonstrate the feasibility of plasmonic porous ceramics which combine the optical properties of plasmonic nanoparticles with the advantages of open porous ceramics. To this end, we prepared open porous structures for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based on zirconia-toughened alumina on which we deposited silver nanoparticles. The Raman enhancement of the plasmonic structures was analyzed as a function of the amount of deposited silver nanoparticles, pore diameter and strut diameter of the ceramic structure using the probe molecule pyridine. Flat substrates of the same chemical composition and non-porous fragments of the porous structure were used for comparison. The Raman signal is found to be significantly augmented by the porous structure compared to that collected on flat substrates with similar composition. Accordingly, we propose that the plasmonic porous ceramics are well suited as 3D SERS substrates, allowing real-time Raman sensing of trace amounts of molecules.

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