Hierarchical structures (HSs) constructed by nanoparticle-based building blocks possess not only the properties of the primary building blocks but also collective properties of the assemblies. Here we report the facile preparation of hierarchical Ag nanoparticles/polyhedral oligomeric silsequioxane molecule (POSS) hybrid branched structures within tens of seconds by using spin-coating and doctor-blade methods. An assembly mechanism mainly controlled by POSS-crystallization kinetics and space resistance of Ag nanoparticles toward the diffusion of POSS molecules was tentatively proposed. It was demonstrated as a universal method for the preparation of hierarchical hybrid branched structures on arbitrary substrates, as well as by using other different POSS and inorganic nanoparticles. As a demonstration, Ag hierarchical structures obtained by heat treatment exhibit excellent SERS performance with enhancement factors as high as on the order of 107, making them promising sensors for the detection of trace amount of analyte adsorbed on the surface. Two-dimensional SERS mapping was also demonstrated by using a direct imaging system with high mapping speed and high resolution. Moreover, the substrates with Ag hierarchical structures were used as a SERS sensor for in situ detection due to the excellent SERS performance and stability of the structures.
- crystallization-driven self-assembly
- hierarchical structures
- hybrid materials
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)