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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique for molecular detection and characterization that relies on the enhanced Raman scattering of molecules that are adsorbed on, or near, SERS-active surfaces, such as nanostructured gold or silver.
Rational design of heterogeneous catalysts requires molecular understanding of catalytic processes. Here, the authors attach PtFe and Pd nanocatalysts to Raman signal-enhancing Au-silica nanoparticles, allowing them to spectroscopically observe the active species and bonds involved in CO oxidation in real time.
Localized surface plasmon resonances induce strong modifications of surface-enhanced Raman spectra. Here the authors propose a robust method to retrieve the fingerprint of intrinsic chemical information by using the photoluminescence of the metallic structures to correct the spectra.
Despite the high sensitivity of SERS analysis, non-specific binding of proteins can impact the effectiveness in biologically important media such as blood. Here the authors report a SERS substrate modified to prevent protein fouling and demonstrate drug detection in undiluted plasma.
The transfer of chirality is known to occur through chemical bonds. Now, chiral biomolecules have been observed to impart some of their optical properties to a spatially separated achiral dye — with the transfer mediated by plasmon resonance from an achiral metallic nanostructure.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy is normally associated with the enhanced electric fields that arise near metal nanoparticle surfaces. The contribution of field gradients has been unclear, but new research provides insights into their effect.