Electromigrated nanoscale gaps for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Daniel R Ward, Nathaniel K Grady, Carly S Levin, Naomi J. Halas, Yanpeng Wu, Peter Nordlander, Douglas Natelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

279 Scopus citations


Single-molecule detection with chemical specificity is a powerful and much desired tool for biology, chemistry, physics, and sensing technologies. Surface-enhanced spectroscopies enable single-molecule studies, yet reliable substrates of adequate sensitivity are in short supply. We present a simple, scaleable substrate for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) incorporating nanometer-scale electromigrated gaps between extended electrodes. Molecules in the nanogap active regions exhibit hallmarks of very high Raman sensitivity, including blinking and spectral diffusion. Electrodynamic simulations show plasmonic focusing, giving electromagnetic enhancements approaching those needed for single-molecule SERS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1396-400
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Nanotechnology
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman
  • Surface Properties
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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