High-Enhancement Factor SERS Substrates

Essential to the applicability of plasmonics to LSPR sensing and SERS studies are the characteristics of the plasmonically-active noble metal substrate. Demands are made by researchers not only on the E-field enhancement at the surface, but also the wavelength tune-ability of the resonance, the stability of the metal film in various environments, reproducibility of the expected signal return, and general robustness.

Our group has developed a metal nanopillar film over nanospheres (FON) mask fabricated to address these shortcomings which have historically plagued this field and arrested its growth to an even larger number of applications. Current achievements towards this goal are:

  • High Raman signal enhancement factor (EF) of ~ 108
  • Low Variability (10 % signal variance) over large-area Si wafer
  • Reproducible and Predictable Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Stability in aqueous and organic environments, as well as common SERS power densities
  • Readily functionalizable surface free of metal deposition contamination

In addition to FONs we perform comprehensive spectroscopic characterization of inkjet paper- and fabric-based 3D SERS substrates, which includes SEM, far- and near-field responses (Figure 1, B). These substrates are very promising platforms for identification and quantification of various chemical and biological analyses. They can be printed on-side with portable printers and demonstrate molecule detection down to fg and ng levels.

Recent Publications:
Bhavya Sharma, Fernanda Cardinal, Samuel Kleinman, Nathan Greeneltch, Renee Frontiera, and Richard P. Van Duyne, “Highly Enhancing SERS substrates: advancements achieved and future challenges” MRS Bulletin, 2013.

Nathan G. Greeneltch, M. G. B., Anne-Isabelle Henry, George C. Schatz, Richard. P. Van Duyne, Immobilized Nanorod Assemblies: Fabrication and Understanding of Large Area SERS Substrates. Analytical Chemistry 2013.

Greeneltch, N. G.; Blaber, M. G.; Schatz, G. C.; Van Duyne, R. P., Plasmon-Sampled Surface-Enhanced Raman Excitation Spectroscopy on Silver Immobilized Nanorod Assemblies and Optimization for Near Infrared (λex = 1064 nm) Studies. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2012. 117(6): p. 2554-2558

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  • Professor Richard Van Duyne

    Additional Information

    Discoverer of Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (1977)
    Inventor of Nanosphere Lithography (1995) & Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy (2000)

  • Group Members

    Professor Van Duyne has, in his career to date, advised a total of 87 graduate students and 47 postdoctoral fellows. Every year, Professor Van Duyne gives a talk to introduce new graduate students to our research. The 2017 seminar slides are available here.

  • News

    Professor Van Duyne was recently named a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow by the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct "high risk, high payoff" basic scientific research. Read more here