We describe herein the preparation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using nucleobase adenine as protecting agent through the in situ chemical reduction of AgNO3 with NaBH4 in an aqueous medium at room temperature. As-prepared AgNPs were characterized by UV-visible spectra, transmission electron microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. All these data confirmed the formation of AgNPs. On the basis of electrostatic interactions between as-prepared AgNPs and anionic polyelectrolyte poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS), we successfully fabricated (PSS/AgNP)n (n = 0-9) multilayers on a 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane/AgNP functionalized indium tin oxide (ITO) substrate via the layer-by-layer self-assembly technique and characterized as-formed multilayers with UV-visible spectra. Furthermore, these ITO substrates coated with multilayers of different thickness were investigated as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-active substrates using p-aminothiophenol as a probe molecule, implying that these multilayers substrates may be promising for a new type of SERS-active substrate.