Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy with a laser pointer light source and miniature spectrometer

Matthew A. Young, Douglas A. Stuart, Olga Lyandres, Matthew R Glucksberg, Richard P Van Duyne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The initial steps toward a miniature, field portable sensor based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) are presented. It is demonstrated that a low-cost miniaturized Raman system can be used in place of a larger, higher-cost conventional Raman system. This system was developed by sequentially replacing components of a laboratory scale Raman spectroscopy system with smaller, lower-cost, commercially available components. For example, a green laser pointer was used as the excitation source, a reflectance probe fiber-optic cable was used for laser delivery and collection, and a compact card-based spectrometer was used for dispersion and detection. Spectra, collected with the laser pointer Raman system, are presented of a resonant (Rhodamine 6G) and a non-resonant (trans-1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene) molecule as well as a self-assembled monolayer (1-decanethiol). Small, low-cost sensors are in demand for a variety of applications, and SERS is positioned to contribute significantly with its remarkable sensitivity and molecular specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1441
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


  • Fiber-optics
  • Raman
  • SERS
  • Sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Organic Chemistry

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