Date of Graduation

Spring 2016


Master of Science in Materials Science


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

Kartik Ghosh


Raman spectroscopy, SERS, localized surface plasmon resonance, metal nanoparticles, sputter physical vapor deposition

Subject Categories

Materials Science and Engineering


Surface enhanced Raman substrates represent a critical step in the sensitivity augmentation of Raman spectroscopy, but due to the time and expertise currently required in the synthesis process, they have not been fully realized within an industrial setting. This thesis aims to investigate a new technique in surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrate fabrication designed to decrease synthesis time and map the most effective growth parameters for a successful Raman intensity boost. Sputter physical vapor deposition was utilized to deposit a gold (Au) layer on an insulating substrate, and annealing treatments were applied to agglomerate the Au atoms into the sought after nanostructures conducive to the SERS effect. Substrates were characterized with a variety of techniques including scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy, as well as several others. Physical morphologies of the nano features are summarized as well as their impact upon spectroscopic behavior. Surface enhanced Raman intensity boost is also documented and linked back to growth parameters in order to determine effective deposition methods for a successful SERS substrate


© Daniel Robert Soden

Open Access