Surface-Enhanced-Raman-Spectroscopy (SERS) is potentially a very sensitive technique for the detection of
biological agents (i.e., proteins, viruses or whole cell bacteria). However, since initial reports, its utility has not been
realized. Its limited acceptance as a routine analysis technique for both chemical and biological agents is largely due to
the lack of reproducible SERS-active substrates. Most established SERS substrate fabrication schemes are based on selfassembly
of the metallic (typically, Au, Ag, Pt, Pd or Cu) surfaces responsible for enhancement. Further, these protocols
do not lend themselves to the stringent control over the enhancing feature shape, size, and placement on a nanometer
scale. SERS can be made a more robust and attractive spectroscopic technique for biological agents by developing
quantifiable, highly sensitive, and highly selective SERS-active substrates. Recently, novel SERS-active substrates,
fabricated from nano-patterned Si and Au have been commercialized and are easily obtained in the marketplace.
Commercialized Au SERS-active substrates fabricated using semiconductor manipulation and routine metal
vapor deposition techniques used for the spectral analysis of intact bacterial cells. This talk will focus on the substrate
characterization (microscopic and spectral) and application towards whole cells.