Protein-aided formation of triangular silver nanoprisms with enhanced SERS performance
In this work, we present a modified seed-mediated synthetic strategy for the growth of silver nanoprisms with low shape polydispersity, narrow size distribution and tailored plasmonic absorbance. During the seed nucleation step, consensus sequence tetratricopeptide repeat (CTPR) proteins are utilized as potent stabilizers to facilitate the formation of planar-twinned Ag seeds. Ag nanoprisms were produced in high yield in a growth solution containing ascorbic acid and CTPR-stabilized Ag seeds. From the time-course UV-Vis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies, we postulate that the growth mechanism is the combination of facet selective lateral growth and thermodynamically driven Ostwald ripening. The resultant Ag nanotriangles (NTs) exhibit excellent surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) performance. The enhancement factor (EF) measured for the 4-mercapto benzoic acid (4-MBA) reporter is estimated to be 3.37 × 105 in solution and 2.8 × 106 for the SERS substrate.