Lattice plasmons, i.e., diffractively coupled localized surface plasmon resonances, occur in long-range ordered plasmonic nanostructures such as 1D and 2D periodic lattices. Such far-field coupled resonances can be employed for ultrasensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), provided they are spectrally matched to the excitation wavelength.
The spectral positions of lattice plasmon modes critically depend on the lattice period and uniformity, owing to their pronounced sensitivity to structural disorder. We report the fabrication of superlattices by templated self-assembly of gold nanoparticles on a flexible support, with tunable lattice-plasmon resonances by means of macroscopic strain. We demonstrate that the highest SERS performance is achieved by matching the lattice plasmon mode to the excitation wavelength, by post-assembly fine-tuning of long-range structural parameters. Both asymmetric and symmetric lattice deformations can be used to adapt a single lattice structure to both red-shifted and blue-shifted excitation lines, as exemplified by lattice expansion and contraction, respectively. This proof-of-principle study represents a basis for alternative designs of adaptive functional nanostructures with mechanically tunable lattice resonances using strain as a macroscopic control parameter.