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Keywords:

  • SERS;
  • Ag colloid;
  • push–pull molecule;
  • catalysis;
  • photoreaction

The adsorption of 4-nitroanisole on silver colloidal nanoparticles was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Actually, the chemical binding with a metal substrate may play a role in changing the electronic structure of this molecule, which can be considered a push–pull chromophore, because an internal charge-transfer occurs between methoxy and nitrogroup. A SERS signal could be detected only in chloride-activated silver colloids, but the spectrum recorded with green-light excitation was not related to adsorbed 4-nitroanisole, but to its azoderivative, formed by photoreduction of the nitrogroup on the surface of the silver substrate. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.