The research presented in this paper improves potential for the application of surface-enhanced Raman scattering
(SERS) in remote detection and analysis. Remote (stand-off) Raman sensing, with its ability to "fingerprint" analyte
based on their unique vibrational spectra, offers great potential to address the challenging analytical problem of
identifying unknown substances in low concentrations in the form of vaporous emissions or clouds. An inexpensive
nebulizer/spray chamber was designed to study the mixing of aerosolized SERS (surface-enhanced Raman scattering)
active nanostructures with a vapor phase analyte, the fluorophore Rhodamine 6G (R6G). Improved signal intensities
(EF=200) are gained via SERS. Vapor phase mixing of the analyte and substrate is rapid (< 5 seconds).
We have developed a system for the direct spectroscopic identification of protein biomarkers in biological samples. By conjugating Raman dyes and biomolecular targeting agents to gold nanoparticles, we have produced highly selective optically encoded probes. The nanostructures are grown within a cellular sample to generate a surface that is highly active for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Both <i>in vitro</i> characterizations of SERS detection as well as the sensitive and specific detection of cancer biomarkers in cultured cancer cells have been demonstrated.
The intense color of noble metal nanoparticles has inspired artists and fascinated scientists for hundreds of years. These rich hues are due to the interaction of light with the nanostructure's localized surface plasmon (LSPR). Here, we describe three optical sensing modalities that are dependant on the effects of the LSPR. Specifically, we will demonstrate the use of LSPR supporting particles as analogues to fluorescent probes and labels for multiplex detection, sensing based on observation of changes in the LSPR spectrum caused by alteration of the local refractive index upon analyte binding, and the spectroscopic labeling of cells and tissues with Surface Enhanced Raman Scatting (SERS) active nanoparticles probes.