In the 28 years since its discovery, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has progressed from model system studies of pyridine on a roughened silver electrode to state-of-the-art surface science studies and real-world sensing applications. Each year, the number of SERS publications increases as nanoscale material design techniques advance and the importance of trace analyte detection increases. To achieve the lowest limits of detection, both the relationship between surface nanostructure and laser excitation wavelength and the analyte-surface binding chemistry must be carefully optimised. This work exploits the highly tunable nature of nanoparticle optical properties to establish the optimisation conditions. Two methods are used to study the optimised conditions of the SERS substrate: plasmon-sampled and wavelength-scanned surfaced Raman excitation spectroscopy (SERES). The SERS enhancement condition is optimised when the energy of the localised surface plasmon resonance of the nanostructures lies between the energy of the excitation wavelength and the energy of the vibration band of interest. These optimised conditions enabled the development of SERS-based sensors for the detection of a Bacillus anthracis biomarker and glucose in a serum-protein matrix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)