Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy or surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a surface-sensitive technique that enhances Raman scattering by molecules adsorbed on rough metal surfaces or by nanostructures such as plasmonic-magnetic silica nanotubes.[1] The enhancement factor can be as much as 1010 to 1011,[2][3] which means the technique may detect single molecules.[4][5]

Raman spectrum of liquid 2-mercaptoethanol (below) and SERS spectrum of 2-mercaptoethanol monolayer formed on roughened silver (above). Spectra are scaled and shifted for clarity. A difference in selection rules is visible: Some bands appear only in the bulk-phase Raman spectrum or only in the SERS spectrum.