Hierarchical plasmonic-photonic microspheres (PPMs) with high controllability in their structures and optical properties have been explored toward surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. The PPMs consist of gold nanocrystal (AuNC) arrays (3rd-Tier) anchored on a hexagonal nanopattern (2nd-Tier) assembled from silica nanoparticles (SiO2NPs) where the uniform microsphere backbone is termed the 1st-Tier. The PPMs sustain both photonic stop band (PSB) properties, resulting from periodic SiO2NP arrangements of the 2nd-Tier, and a surface plasmon resonance (SPR), resulting from AuNC arrays of the 3rd-Tier. Thanks to the synergistic effects of the photonic crystal (PC) structure and the AuNC array, the electromagnetic (EM) field in such a multiscale composite structure can tremendously be enhanced at certain wavelengths. These effects are demonstrated by experimentally evaluating the Raman enhancement of benzenethiol (BT) as a probe molecule and are confirmed via numerical simulations. We achieve a maximum SERS enhancement factor of up to â108 when the resonances are tailored to coincide with the excitation wavelength by suitable structural modifications.
- Localized surface plasmon resonance
- Photonic stop band
- Plasmonic−photonic microsphere
- Slow light effect
- Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy