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Surface‐enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy: principles and applications

The phenomenon of surface‐enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) spectroscopy involves the intensity enhancement of vibrational bands of adsorbates that usually bond through contain carboxylic acid or thiol groups onto thin nanoparticulate metallic films that have been deposited on an appropriate substrate. SEIRA spectra obey the surface selection rule in the same way as reflection‐absorption spectra of thin films on smooth metal substrates. When the metal nanoparticles become in close contact, i.e., start to exceed the percolation limit, the bands in the adsorbate spectra start to assume a dispersive shape. Unlike surface‐enhanced Raman scattering, which is usually only observed with silver, gold and, albeit less frequently, copper, SEIRA is observed with most metals, including platinum and even zinc. The mechanism of SEIRA is still being discussed but the enhancement and shape of the bands is best modeled by the Bruggeman representation of effective medium theory with plasmonic mechanism playing a relatively minor role. At the end of this report, three applications of SEIRA, namely spectroelectrochemical measurements, the fabrication of sensors, and biochemical applications, are discussed.

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29 Apr 2013
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