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Electrochemical Modification of Surface Morphology of Au/Ti Bilayer Films Deposited on a Si Prism for in Situ Surface-Enhanced Infrared Absorption (SEIRA) Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-12-07, 00:00 authored by Narumi Ohta, Kamba Nomura, Ichizo Yagi
Surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA)-active Au/Ti bilayer films sputter deposited on Si substrates have been prepared by an electrochemical annealing (ECA) treatment for the first time. The application of Au/Ti bilayer films on Si substrates to the spectroscopic technique is a promising alternative to the conventional technique using directly deposited Au films on Si substrates, offering excellent adhesive durability of the deposited metal films. However, Au/Ti bilayer films have never been selected for the spectroscopy technique because the films in the as-prepared state exhibit relatively smooth surface morphology: the excitation of the localized surface plasmon is vital to achieving SEIRA enhancements but could hardly be observed on the smooth morphology. It is shown by ex situ scanning tunneling microscopy measurements that the unfavorable smooth morphology of the as-prepared Au/Ti bilayer films can be modified by the ECA treatment to a reasonably rough, island-structure morphology similar to that of the conventional SEIRA-active Au films. In situ infrared absorption spectroscopy of adsorbed sulfate anions has been conducted on the Au/Ti bilayer film both before and after ECA treatment. The spectroscopy measurements demonstrate that the SEIRA activity of the film after being subjected to the treatment is significantly improved so that the technique could detect adsorbates on the film electrodes even with the submonolayer coverage. As an additional benefit, the ECA treatment has brought about a substantial increase in the fraction of Au(111) domains on the polycrystalline Au film surfaces. Accordingly, this approach enables us to prepare SEIRA-active Au films having sufficient adhesion to the Si substrates as well as the highly preferred (111) orientation.

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