Recent years have seen a rapid progress in the field of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) which is attributed to the thriving field of plasmonics . SERS is a susceptible technique that can address basic scientific questions and technological problems. In both cases, it is highly dependent upon the plasmonic substrate, where excitation of the localized surface plasmon resonance enhances the vibrational scattering signal of the analyte molecules adsorbed on to the surface . In this work, using finite difference time domain (FDTD) method we investigate the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures with tuned plasmonic resonances as a function of dielectric environment and geometric parameters. An optimized geometry will be discussed based on the plasmonic resonant position and the SERS intensity. These SERS substrates will be employed for the detection of changes in conformation caused by interactions between an aptamer and analyte molecules. This will be done by using a microfluidic channel designed within the configuration of the lab-on-a-chip concept based on the intensity changes of the SERS signal. More efficient and reproducible results are obtained for such a quantitative measurement of analytes at low concentration levels. We will also demonstrate that the plasmonic substrates fabricated by top down approach such as e-beam lithography (EBL) and laser interference lithography (LIL) are highly reproducible, robust and can result in high electric field enhancement. Our results demonstrate the potential to use SERS substrates for highly sensitive detection schemes opening up the window for a wide range of applications including biomedical diagnostics, forensic investigation etc.
This work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), project NANOBIOSENSOR (I 2647).
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 T. Y. Jeon1, D. J. Kim, S. Park, S. Kim and D. Kim., "Nanostructured plasmonic substrates for use as SERS sensors," Nanocovergence, 3(18), 2016.
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