Employing vibrational spectroscopy (IR-absorption and Raman spectroscopy) allows for the labelfree detection of molecular specific fingerprints of inorganic, organic and biological substances. The sensitivity of vibrational spectroscopy can be improved by several orders of magnitude via the application of plasmonic active surfaces. Within this contribution we will discuss two such approaches, namely surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) as well as surface enhanced IR absorption (SEIRA). It will be shown that SERS using metal colloids as SERS active substrate in combination with a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) device enables high throughput and reproducible measurements with highest sensitivity and specificity. The application of such a LOC-SERS approach for therapeutic drug monitoring (e.g. quantitative detection of antibiotics in a urine matrix) will be presented. Furthermore, we will introduce innovative bottom-up strategies to prepare SERS-active nanostructures coated with a lipophilic sensor layer as one-time use SERS substrates for specific food analysis (e.g. quantitative detection of toxic food colorants). The second part of this contribution presents a slit array metamaterial perfect absorber for IR sensing applications consisting of a dielectric layer sandwiched between two metallic layers of which the upper layer is perforated with a periodic array of slits. Light-matter interaction is greatly amplified in the slits, where also the analyte is concentrated, as the surface of the substrate is covered by a thin silica layer. Thus, already small concentrations of analytes down to a monolayer can be detected by refractive index sensing and identified by their spectral fingerprints with a standard mid-infrared lab spectrometer.
Juergen Popp, Thomas Mayerhöfer, Dana Cialla-May, Karina Weber, and Uwe Huebner, "Innovative nanostructures for highly sensitive vibrational biosensing
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9721, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XIII, 972103 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 16, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2208924.4848770129001.
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