Surface-enhanced Raman scattering of 4-aminobenzenethiol in Ag sol: relative intensity of a1- and b2-type bands invariant against aggregation of Ag nanoparticles.Langmuir. 2011 Apr 19; 27(8):4526-31.L
4-Aminobenzenthiol (4-ABT) is an unusual molecule, showing variable surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra depending upon measurement conditions. In an effort to reduce ambiguity and add clarity, we have thus conducted an ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) extinction measurement, along with Raman scattering measurement, after adding 4-ABT into aqueous Ag sol. Upon the addition of 4-ABT, the surface plasmon absorption band of Ag at 410 nm gradually diminished and, concomitantly, a weak and broad band developed at longer wavelengths, obviously because of the aggregation of Ag nanoparticles. At the same time, the Raman scattering peaks of 4-ABT varied in intensity as the Ag particles proceeded to form aggregates. A close examination revealed that the peak intensity of the ring 7a band of 4-ABT, a typical a(1) vibrational mode, could be correlated with the UV-vis extinction of the Ag sol measured at the excitation laser wavelength. In a separate Raman measurement conducted using sedimented Ag colloidal particles, 4-ABT was found not to be subjected to any surface-induced photoreaction, implying that all of the observable Raman peaks were, in fact, solely due to 4-ABT on Ag. The intensities of the b(2)-type bands, such as the ring 3, 9b, and 19b modes of 4-ABT, were then analyzed and found to be invariant with respect to the 7a band, irrespective of the extent of Ag aggregation as far as at a fixed excitation wavelength. The intensity ratio of the b(2)-type/7a bands would then reflect the extent of the chemical enhancement that was involved in the SERS of 4-ABT in aggregated Ag sol.