Unique colorimetric optical properties of nanomaterials can effectively influence the light absorption or emission of molecules. Here, we design plasmonic substrate for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) by inducing three-dimensional (3D) hot spots on the sensing surface. The 3D hot spots are formed by the self-assembly of plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) on a 3D plasmonic nanocup array structure. This 3D hot spot formation on the periodic nanocup arrays achieves much higher SERS enhancement factor than the 2D NP arrays, which have been conventionally sought SERS substrates. We also utilize the colorimetric properties of the nanocup arrays for an additional degree of SERS enhancement. Colorimetry, achieved by tunable plasmon resonance wavelength by controlling dielectric property on the nanocup array surface, eases the modulation of the plasmonic resonance condition without modifying the nanostructure design. By continuously monitoring the shifts of the plasmon resonance condition and its effect on the light absorption and emission of the nearby molecules, we verify that larger SERS enhancement is achieved when the plasmon resonance wavelength is matched with the Raman excitation wavelength. The ease of plasmon resonance tuning of this nanocup array-nanoparticle hybrid structure allows versatile SERS enhancement for a variety of different Raman measurement conditions.
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