Gold nanocubes, octahedra, and rhombic dodecahedra with roughly two sets of particle sizes have been successfully synthesized via a seed-mediated growth approach. All six samples were analyzed for comparative surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity. All of these Au nanostructures were found to yield strong enhancement at a thiophenol concentration of 10-7 M and are excellent SERS substrates. Rhombic dodecahedra with a rhombus edge length of 32 nm showed significantly better enhancement than the other samples and can reach a detection limit of 10-8 M. Simulations of the binding energies of thiophenol on the different faces of gold and electric near-field intensities of these nanocrystals have been performed to evaluate the experimental results. Superior SERS activity of these nanocrystals can be expected toward the detection of many other molecules.
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