Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a highly sensitive spectroscopic technique that provides non-destructive detection at the single-molecule level. Shell-isolated nanoparticle-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SHINERS) provided a solution to the long-standing limitation of poor universality of traditional SERS substrates and morphology and, as a result, greatly expanded applications of SERS. In this Primer, we introduce the background, origin and enhancement mechanism of SHINERS before describing the experimental details of SHINERS, including the types and characterization of shell-isolated nanoparticles, relevant experimental instruments, and experimental reproducibility and data analysis. The recent advances in electrochemical catalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, batteries, and industry and living applications are highlighted. By analysing the limitations and possible optimizations of SHINERS, the guidance for further improvements is discussed. Finally, an outlook on the application of SHINERS-based research is presented.
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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2019YFA0705400), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21925404, T2293692, 22104124, 22174165 and 22021001), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to J.L. (RG-03958), and the UK Faraday Institution (EPSRC EP/S003053/1) through the Degradation Project (FIRG001 and FIRG024).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Nature Reviews Methods Primers thanks Jung Ho Yu, Wei Xie and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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- Contact mode
The probed molecules are in direct contact with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) active material.
- Frens method
A method of reducing an aqueous solution of gold or silver precursor by sodium citrate at elevated temperature.
- Localized surface plasmon resonance effect
The collective oscillation effect of conduction electrons in nanostructures stimulated by incident light.
Nanostructures with a localized surface plasmon resonance effect.
- Non-contact mode
The surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) signal amplifier is separated from the surface of interest.
- Rayleigh scattering
A scattering in which the intensity of the scattered light is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the frequency of the incident light, and the intensity in each direction is not the same.
- Shell-isolated mode
The gold core acts as a signal amplifier, and the chemically inert dielectric shell prevents the interaction between the gold core and the system under study.
- SHINERS-satellite strategy
A developed core–shell satellite nanocomposite structure (gold core–silica shell–nanocatalyst satellite structure).
A dispersed solution having colloidal particles with a diameter of 1–1,000 nm.
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Zhang, YJ., Ze, H., Fang, PP. et al. Shell-isolated nanoparticle-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Nat Rev Methods Primers 3, 36 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43586-023-00217-y