J. Phys. Chem. C
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Tetrahedral nanopyramids made of silver and gold over ITO/glass surfaces are fabricated. Our protocol is based on nanosphere lithography (NSL) with the deposition of thicker metal layers. After removing the microspheres used in the NSL process, an array of metallic tetrahedral nanostructures of ~350-400 nm height is formed. The reported procedure avoids the use of any stabilizing surfactant molecules that are generally necessary to segregate the individual particles onto surfaces. We focus here on the optical and the physical properties of these plasmonic surfaces using near-field spectroscopy in conjunction with finite difference time domain (FDTD) modeling of the electric field. Remarkably, FDTD shows that the localized surface plasmon resonance is confined in the plane formed by the edges of two facing pyramids that is parallel to the polarization of the impinging excitation laser. The variable gap between the edges of two adjacent pyramids shows a broader localized surface plasmon and larger specific surface as opposed to the usual nanotriangle array. Localized enhancement of the electric field is experimentally investigated by coating the plasmonic surface with a thin film of photosensitive azopolymer onto the surface of the nanopyramids. The reported deformation upon radiation of the surface topography is visualized by atomic force microscopy and suggests the potentiality of these 3D nanopyramids for near-field enhancement. This last feature is clearly confirmed by surface-enhanced Raman scattering measurement with 4-nitrothiophenol molecules deposited on the pyramid platforms. The potentiality of such 3D nanostructures in plasmonics and surface spectroscopy is thus clearly demonstrated.