Targeting Biological Sensing with Commercial SERS Substrates

Report No. ARL-RP-0398
Authors: Mikella E. Farrell, Srikanth Singamaneni, and Paul M. Pellegrino
Date/Pages: September 2012; 18 pages
Abstract: There is an increasing need and challenge for early rapid and accurate detection, identification, and quantification of chemical, biological, and energetic hazards in many fields of interest (e.g., medical, environmental, industrial, and defense applications). Increasingly to meet these challenges, researchers are turning interdisciplinary approaches combining spectroscopy with nanoscale platforms to create technologies that offer viable and novel solutions for today's sensing needs. One technology that has gained increasing popularity to meet these needs is surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). SERS is particularly advantageous as it does not suffer from interferences from water, requires little to no sample preparation is robust and can be used in numerous environments, is relatively insensitive to the wavelength of excitation employed and produces a narrowband spectral signature unique to the molecular vibrations of the analyte. SERS enhancements (chemical and electromagnetic) are typically observed on metalized nanoscale roughened surfaces. For ideal SERS sensing, commercially available uniform and reproducible nanoscale surface demonstrating high sensitivity are desirable. Additionally, if these surfaces can be modified for the selective sensing of hazard materials, an ideal sensor platform for dynamic in field measurements can be imagined. In this proceedings paper, preliminary efforts towards the characterization and application of commercially available next generation Klarite substrates will be demonstrated. Additionally, efforts toward chemical modification of these substrates, through peptide recognition elements can be used for the targeting sensing of hazardous materials will be explored.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2012