About this Research Topic
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can realize an ultrahigh sensitivity down to the single-molecule level by means of metal nanostructures (for example, Au, Ag, Cu, etc.). There are two main mechanisms to generate the SERS effect: electromagnetic enhancement (EM) and chemical enhancement (CM). The CM effect is based on the interaction between the organic molecules and the proximal end of nanostructures. The EM effect is related to local electromagnetic field enhancement in the hot spots, which are found in gaps between metal nanostructures. The SERS enhancement strongly relies on the optical resonance properties of metal nanostructures, which can significantly enhance the local electromagnetic field.
Carbon materials (for example, carbon nanotubes, graphene, graphene oxide, 3D graphene foam, etc.) have been suggested as potential surface plasmon enhancers. The SERS effect of graphene was first discovered and reported bin 2009, and the enhancement mechanism was identified as chemical enhancement, which had been induced by the strong interaction between molecules and graphene. Besides, graphene has exceptional properties of fluorescence quenching effect, chemical stability, and used as a protective layer of metal nanomaterial to enhance the stability of SERS substrates. Meanwhile carbon nanotubes (for example, single carbon nanotube, carbon nanotube forests, carbon nanotube arrays, etc.) can be used as plasmonic component to meet the requirements of intensive light scattering properties. Especially, hybrids of carbon materials and metal nanostructures show great SERS properties, high enhancement factors, high stability, high stability and uniformity.
To further expand the applications of SERS as a practical analytical technique, there are still three major challenges to overcome: first, the capability to produce an SERS-active substrate with a large number of hot spots that can give rise to high enhancement factors; second, the efficiency to place the targeted molecules in the hot spots; and third, the reproducibility of the first two issues, or quantitative analysis.
Keywords: Raman Scattering, Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering, Carbon, Carbon Nanotube, Graphene
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