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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

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Practical control of SERRS enhancement

Cunningham, D. and Littleford, R.E. and Smith, W.E. and Lundahl, P.J. and Khan, I. and McComb, D.W. and Graham, D. and Laforest, N. (2006) Practical control of SERRS enhancement. Faraday Discussions, 2006 (132). pp. 135-145. ISSN 1359-6640

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Abstract

The demonstration that quantitative and sensitive analysis can be carried out using surface enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) prompted a discussion and investigation of the main variables which are within the control of the analyst using colloidal silver as the substrate. Previous papers have dealt with the crucial need to obtain good chemisorption of the analyte to the surface and have reported the use of specially designed dyes for SERRS. One of the most variable processes is the aggregation of the colloid. Here, we investigate the addition of controlled amounts of an organic aggregating agent, poly-L-lysine, at concentrations which reduce the zeta potential in a controlled manner, thus aiding aggregation control. The relationship between the excitation frequency, the surface plasmon resonance frequency of the silver colloid and the frequency of the maximum absorbance of the molecular chromophore is studied using low concentrations of dye and no aggregating agent. Under these conditions, little to no aggregation is expected. The magnitude of the enhancement is strongly dependent on the frequency of the molecular chromophore as well as the plasmon resonance frequency. However, when sodium chloride is used to aggregate the colloid, a larger enhancement is obtained and the strong dependence on the molecular chromophore largely disappears. A much broader enhancement pro. le is obtained which appears to be related more to the specific enhancement processes caused by aggregation than the frequency of the chromophore. However, the total enhancement for SERRS is higher than for SERS thus indicating that the chromophore is still important to the process.