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Designing surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platforms beyond hotspot engineering: emerging opportunities in analyte manipulations and hybrid materials

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Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a molecule-specific spectroscopic technique with diverse applications in (bio)chemistry, clinical diagnosis and toxin sensing. While hotspot engineering has expedited SERS development, it is still challenging to detect molecules with no specific affinity to plasmonic surfaces. With the aim of improving detection performances, we venture beyond hotspot engineering in this tutorial review and focus on emerging material design strategies to capture and confine analytes near SERS-active surfaces as well as various promising hybrid SERS platforms. We outline five major approaches to enhance SERS performance: (1) enlarging Raman scattering cross-sections of non-resonant molecules via chemical coupling reactions; (2) targeted chemical capturing of analytes through surface-grafted agents to localize them on plasmonic surfaces; (3) physically confining liquid analytes on non-wetting SERS-active surfaces and (4) confining gaseous analytes using porous materials over SERS hotspots; (5) synergizing conventional metal-based SERS platforms with functional materials such as graphene, semiconducting materials, and piezoelectric polymers. These approaches can be integrated with engineered hotspots as a multifaceted strategy to further boost SERS sensitivities that are unachievable using hotspot engineering alone. Finally, we highlight current challenges in this research area and suggest new research directions towards efficient SERS designs critical for real-world applications.

Graphical abstract: Designing surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platforms beyond hotspot engineering: emerging opportunities in analyte manipulations and hybrid materials

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Aug 2018 and first published on 26 Nov 2018


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00786H
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, Advance Article
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    Designing surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platforms beyond hotspot engineering: emerging opportunities in analyte manipulations and hybrid materials

    H. K. Lee, Y. H. Lee, C. S. L. Koh, G. C. Phan-Quang, X. Han, C. L. Lay, H. Y. F. Sim, Y. Kao, Q. An and X. Y. Ling, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00786H

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