Silver nano-needles: focused optical field induced solution synthesis and application in remote-excitation nanofocusing SERS

P. Li, D. Pan, L. Yang, H. Wei, S. He, H. Xu and Z. Li

Nanoscale 11, 2153 (2019)
Tapered metallic nanostructures that harbor surface plasmons are highly interesting for nanophotonic applications because of their waveguiding and field-focusing properties. Here, we developed a focused optical field induced solution synthesis for unique crystallized silver nano-needles. Under the focused laser spot, inhomogeneous Ag monomer concentration is created, which triggers the uniaxial growth of silver nanostructures along the radial direction with decreasing rate, forming nano-needle structures. These nano-needles are several micrometers long, with diameter attenuating from hundreds to tens of nanometers, and terminated by a sharp apex only a few nanometers in diameter. Moreover, nano-needles with atomically smooth surfaces show excellent performance for plasmonic waveguiding and unique near-field compression abilities. This nano-needle structure can be used for effective remote-excitation detection/sensing. We also demonstrate the assembling and picking up of nano-needles, which indicate potential applications in intracellular endoscopy, high resolution scanning tips, on-chip nanophotonic devices, etc.