A metallic bowtie nanoring array is designed to gain high sensitive and reproducible substrate for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), the electric field enhancement factors (EFs) and the electric field distribution of the bowtie and bowtie nanoring array are numerically investigated by means of the finite-difference time domain (FDTD) method. After the optimization of the particle size and the array period, the maximum electromagnetic field EF approaches 153, and the corresponding SERS electromagnetic enhancement factor (EMEF) reaches 5.4 × 108. This highly sensitive and reproducible substrate can be a good candidate for SERS applications. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.