Coated silver (Ag) colloids synthesized with D-glucose permit the observation of surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF) and surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) of the rhodamine B (RhB) molecule. The organic coating formed during the synthesis of the Ag nanostructures was identified by its surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectrum as D-gluconic acid. The RhB molecule is used to exemplify the distance dependence of SEF and SERRS on the coated Ag nanostructures. The fluorescence enhancement factor for RhB on D-gluconic acid coated silver nanoparticles was determined experimentally and estimated using a simple model. Further support for the plasmon enhancement is obtained from the fact that the measured fluorescence lifetime of RhB on the silver coated with D-gluconic acid is shorter than that found on a glass surface. A very modest enhancement factor is obtained, as expected for very short distance between RhB and the metal surface. Given the very thin metal–fluorophore separation, estimated from the size of the D-gluconic acid, the energy transfer or fluorescence quenching is still efficient and the SEF enhancement is just overcoming the energy transfer. Therefore, both SEF and SERRS are observed. Notably, the aggregation of coated nanoparticles also increases the enhancement factor for SEF.
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