Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a new optical spectroscopic analysis technique with potential for highly sensitive detection of molecules. Recently, many efforts have been made to find SERS substrates with high sensitivity and reproducibility. In this Research News article, we provide a focused review on the synthesis of monodispersed silver particles with a novel, highly roughened, “flower-like” morphology by reducing silver nitrate with ascorbic acid in aqueous solutions. The nanometer-scale surface roughness of the particles can provide several hot spots on a single particle, which significantly increases SERS enhancement. The incident polarization-dependent SERS of individual particles is also studied. Although the different “hot spots” on a single particle can have a strong polarization dependency, the total Raman signals from an individual particle usually have no obvious polarization dependency. Moreover, these flower-like silver particles can be measured by SERS with high enhancement several times, which indicates the high stability of the hot spots. Hence, the flower-like silver particles here can serve as highly sensitive and reproducible SERS substrates.
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