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Nanoporous Gold Nanocomposites as a Versatile Platform for Plasmonic Engineering and Sensing.


Plasmonic metal nanostructures have shown great potential in sensing applications. Among various materials and structures, monolithic nanoporous gold disks (NPGD) have several unique features such as three-dimensional (3D) porous network, large surface area, tunable plasmonic resonance, high-density hot-spots, and excellent architectural integrity and environmental stability. They exhibit a great potential in surface-enhanced spectroscopy, photothermal conversion, and plasmonic sensing. In this work, interactions between smaller colloidal gold nanoparticles (AuNP) and individual NPGDs are studied. Specifically, colloidal gold nanoparticles with different sizes are loaded onto NPGD substrates to form NPG hybrid nanocomposites with tunable plasmonic resonance peaks in the near-infrared spectral range. Newly formed plasmonic hot-spots due to the coupling between individual nanoparticles and NPG disk have been identified in the nanocomposites, which have been experimentally studied using extinction and surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Numerical modeling and simulations have been employed to further unravel various coupling scenarios between AuNP and NPGDs.