Wavelength modulated surface enhanced (resonance) Raman scattering for background-free detection

B. B. Praveen, C. Steuwe, M. Mazilu, K. Dholakia, and S. Mahajan

Analyst 138, 2816-2820 (2013)

doi: 10.1039/C3AN00043E

Spectra in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) are always accompanied by a continuum emission called the ‘background’ which complicates analysis and is especially problematic for quantification and automation. Here, we implement a wavelength modulation technique to eliminate the background in SERS and its resonant version, surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS). This is demonstrated on various nanostructured substrates used for SER(R)S. An enhancement in the signal to noise ratio for the Raman bands of the probe molecules is also observed. This technique helps to improve the analytical ability of SERS by alleviating the problem due to the accompanying background and thus making observations substrate independent.