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Title: Surface Modification and Charge Injection in a Nanocomposite Of Metal Nanoparticles and Semiconductor Oxide Nanostructures

Combining two materials in a nanoscale level can create a composite with new functionalities and improvements in their physical and chemical properties. Here we present a high-throughput approach to produce a nanocomposite consisting of metal nanoparticles and semiconductor oxide nanostructures. Volmer-Weber growth, though unfavorable for thin films, promotes nucleation of dense and isolated metal nanoparticles on crystalline oxide nanostructures, resulting in new material properties. We demonstrate such a growth of Au nanoparticles on SnO2nanostructures and a remarkable sensitivity of the nanocomposite for detecting traces of analytes in surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Au nanoparticles with tunable size enable us to modify surface wettability and convert hydrophilic oxide surfaces into super-hydrophobic with contact angles over 150°. We also find that charge injection through electron beam exposure shows the same effect as photo-induced charge separation, providing an extra Raman enhancement up to an order of magnitude.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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