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Novel Substrates for Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)

Dr Paul R. Stoddart

Centre for Imaging and Applied Optics, Swinburne University of Technology

3.30pm, Friday 20 August 2004, AR103 Seminar Room, Graduate Research Centre

Raman scattering refers to the inelastic scattering of light from molecular vibrational modes. Although Raman scattering is a relatively weak effect, millionfold enhancements of the scattering intensity can be obtained when a target analyte is adsorbed at a silver or gold surface that is rough on a scale of approximately 10-100 nm. In general, the most sensitive and reproducible SERS activity requires well-defined, stable substrates with uniform features. Although substrates with these favourable properties have been obtained through a variety of “bottom-up” and “top-down” fabrication techniques, these methods have tended to remain the domain of specialist laboratories. Therefore the identification of affordable alternative manufacturing techniques remains of great interest. The Centre for Imaging and Applied Optics has addressed these issues in two main ways, namely: (a) by developing regular nanoscale arrays on the tip of an optical fibre and (b) by demonstrating that the anti-reflective arrays on some insect wings can be used as SERS substrates. These recent results will be presented in this seminar, together with a discussion of some potential applications.

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