Characterization and Potential Application of Next Generation Commercial Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrates

Report No. ARL-TR-5833
Authors: Mikella E. Hankus, Ellen L. Holthoff, Dimitra N. Stratis-Cullum, and Paul M. Pellegrino
Date/Pages: November 2011; 30 pages
Abstract: The development of a sensing platform capable of detecting and identifying hazards, including biological, chemical, and energetic platforms, is a long sought-after goal of the Army and first responder communities. Surface-enhanced Raman scatting (SERS) is a spectroscopic technique gaining popularity as a solution to many sensing needs due to its numerous advantages such as high sensitivity, little to no sample preparation required, and use in numerous environmental settings. Despite all the advantages of SERS, it still remains a marginalized sensing technique primarily due to the challenges in fabricating a reliable, highly sensitive and reproducible nanoscale surface. In this work, we show that many of these challenges have been overcome with a newly developed commercially available Klarite SERS substrate. These substrates are fabricated in a fashion similar to standard Klarite substrates, but due to changes in size and spacing of the inverted pyramidal structure there is an overall increase of SERS sensing capabilities of up to 4 orders of magnitude. In this technical report, the next-generation Klarite (308 and 309) substrates are characterized, analyte sensitivity at both 633 nm and 785 nm is demonstrated, and preliminary and non-optimized efforts with biological and energetic sensing capabilities are presented.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2011