2D freestanding nanocrystal superlattices represent a new class of advanced metamaterials in that they can integrate mechanical flexibility with novel optical, electrical, plasmonic, and magnetic properties into one multifunctional system. The freestanding 2D superlattices reported to date are typically constructed from symmetrical constituent building blocks, which have identical structural and functional properties on both sides. Here, a general ligand symmetry‐breaking strategy is reported to grow 2D Janus gold nanocrystal superlattice sheets with nanocube morphology on one side yet with nanostar on the opposite side. Such asymmetric metallic structures lead to distinct wetting and optical properties as well as surface‐enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effects. In particular, the SERS enhancement of the nanocube side is about 20‐fold of that of the nanostar side, likely due to the combined “hot spot + lightening‐rod” effects. This is nearly 700‐fold of SERS enhancement as compared with the symmetric nanocube superlattices without Janus structures.
We show that topology optimization (TO) of metallic resonators can lead to ∼102 × improvement in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) efficiency compared to traditional resonant structures such as bowtie antennas. TO inverse design leads to surprising structures very different from conventional designs, which simultaneously optimize focusing of the incident wave and emission from the Raman dipole. We consider isolated metallic particles as well as more complicated configurations such as periodic surfaces or resonators coupled to dielectric waveguides, and the benefits of TO are even greater in the latter case. Our results are motivated by recent rigorous upper bounds to Raman scattering enhancement, and shed light on the extent to which these bounds are achievable.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Optics Express
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- Article No. 4444
- 1094-4087; OPEXFF
- Optical Society of America
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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