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Surface-Enhanced Dual-Frequency Two-Dimensional Vibrational Spectroscopy of Thin Layers at an Interface C

Mackin, Robert T., Cohn, Bar, Gandman, Andrey, Leger, Joel D., Chuntonov, Lev, Rubtsov, Igor V.
Journal of physical chemistry 2018 v.122 no.20 pp. 11015-11023
electric field, physical chemistry, polystyrenes, spectroscopy
The development of spectroscopic approaches to study molecules at interfaces is important as the molecular properties often differ from those in the bulk. Implementation of surface-enhanced two-dimensional infrared (SE 2DIR) spectroscopy using lithographically fabricated plasmonic nanoarrays is demonstrated for nanometer thick films. The sample, 4-azidobutyrate-N-hydroxysuccinimide ester (azNHS), dispersed in polystyrene was deposited onto the nanoarray. Raw enhancements in the SE 2DIR spectra exceeding 5 × 10⁴ and 1.3 × 10³ fold were achieved for the CO and NN peaks, respectively. The field enhancement provided by the nanoarray was sufficient to record cross-peaks in 1 nm thick samples under dilute conditions for azNHS (∼0.1 M). Note that the cross-peaks were recorded for vibrational modes frequency separated by ∼350 cm–¹ with the enhancement factor of 4.1 × 10⁴. The effective electric field enhancement factors, measured for NN and CO modes via linear and two nonlinear IR techniques, have similar sample-thickness dependences, which permit using linear spectroscopy for enhancement evaluation. High-quality cross-peak waiting-time dependences were recorded for samples as thin as 1 nm involving several IR reporters demonstrating the applicability of an arsenal of 2DIR approaches, including spectral diffusion, chemical exchange, and relaxation-assisted 2DIR, to interrogate samples in nanometer thick films. The study opens new opportunities in analyzing structures and dynamics of molecules at interfaces.