Self-assembled organic monolayers on gold nanoparticles: A study by sum-frequency generation combined with UV-vis spectroscopy
We use sum-frequency generation spectroscopy (SFG) in the infrared 2800–3000 cm−1 spectral range and UV–vis spectroscopy (transmission) in the 450–650 nm spectral range in order to characterize vibrational and electronic properties of various interfaces composed of organic monolayers adsorbed on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with 19 nm average diameter. SFG signal is observed for AuNPs films deposited on glass substrates using the following silane intermediates: 3-(aminopropyl) triethoxysilane and 3-(mercaptopropyl) trimethoxysilane. The density of AuNPs and their aggregates are measured with a scanning electron microscope. For the samples showing a strong well-defined surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we also observe an enhancement of their non-linear optical properties. Furthermore, the SFG measurements show that 1-dodecanethiol films are rather well ordered on specific AuNPs substrates. In this way, the presence of the SFG signal, which comes from both the bulk electronic s–d interband transition and the vibrational states of the adsorbed molecules, depends on a SPR process. This phenomenon is evidenced on the AuNPs by the incident visible beam located at 532 nm, i.e. near the SPR energy maximum of these interfaces. These results open the door to experiments involving macromolecular and biological materials networks deposited on ultrathin metal electrodes in a controlled electrochemical environment.