Enhancing Enhancement

Enhancing Enhancement

Author: David Bradley

Researchers at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, USA, have circumvented the noise and interference issues in Surface Enhanced Raman Spectra (SERS) by taking a dynamic, statistical approach to their studies of gold nanoparticles. The difference in the SERS-active nanoparticles’ sizes relative to the molecular matrix creates an opportunity to statistically differentiate between their signal and the relatively time indiscriminate fluorescence and matrix Raman signals.

The team tested their approach on shelled nanoparticles, which confirmed the benefits of dynamic SERS, allowing them to obtain strong spectra even at very low concentrations where solvent interference would otherwise overwhelm the signals. The team has also demonstrated a second benefit in that the dynamic approach can distinguish between the types of molecules on nanoparticles.

Their method could open up Raman spectroscopy to much wider applications, particularly in the growing field of nanotechnology.

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