An electrochemical surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy approach to anthrax detection

Xiaoyu Zhang*, Chanda Ranjit Yonzon, Richard P. Van Duyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Metal film over nanosphere (MFON) electrodes are excellent substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. These surfaces are produced by vapor deposition of a metal film over nanospheres that are assembled in a hexagonally close packed arrangement. The efficiency and reproducibility of AgFON electrode as SERS substrates are confirmed by the repeatability of the electrochemical surface enhanced Raman scattering spectra of pyridine and the Ru(bpy)3 3+/Ru(bpy)3 2+ complexes adsorbed on AgFON electrodes. The Raman signal for AgFON electrodes is observed to be extremely stable even at extremely negative potentials in both aqueous and nonaqueous electrolytes. Recent reports have indicated that SERS enhancement factors of up to 14 orders of magnitude can be achieved, providing the sensitivity requisite for ultra trace level detection of target analytes. For this reason, we are developing a method for bacterial endospore SERS detection based on the endospores marker - dipicolinic acid (DPA). The SERS spectra of dipicolinic acid in aqueous solutions are reported. The dipicolinate vibrational features could be observed in the SERS spectra at the concentration as low as 8 × 10 -5 M in 5 minutes. These limits of detection are entirely controlled by the thermodynamics and kinetics of DPA binding to the AgFON surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventPlasmonics: Metallic Nanostuctures and Their Optical Properties - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 5 2003


  • Ag film over nanosphere
  • Anthrax
  • Dipicolinic acid
  • Electrochemistry
  • Endospore
  • Surface-enhanced Raman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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