A strategy to prevent signal losses, analyte decomposition, and fluctuating carbon contamination bands in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

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Author(s) Yeo, Boon-Siang, Schmid, Thomas, Zhang, Weihua, Zenobi, Renato
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title A strategy to prevent signal losses, analyte decomposition, and fluctuating carbon contamination bands in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
Author(s) Yeo, Boon-Siang
Schmid, Thomas
Zhang, Weihua
Zenobi, Renato
Journal or Series Title Applied spectroscopy
Volume Number 62
Issue Number 6
Start Page 708
End Page 713
ISSN 0003-7028
Publisher Society for Applied Spectroscopy
Publication Place Frederick, MD
Publication Date 2008
Keyword(s) chemical analysis
surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
SERS
laser scanning confocal microscope
amorphous carbon
Abstract Signal losses and fluctuating carbon contamination bands are "bottlenecks" in the application of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for reliable chemical analysis. They originate mainly from prolonged laser irradiation of the sample during data collection, which causes analyte decomposition and/or loss of the enhancing capabilities of the adsorption site. In this work, a laser illumination/signal collection technique, the "multiple points collection" (MPC) method is introduced to circumvent these problems. The MPC method is based on the use of a pair of galvanic mirrors to scan the laser beam rapidly and steadily across the sample surface. Each position is irradiated for <10 mu s, at a rate of similar to 0.5 Hz. The SER spectrum is obtained by summing the signals collected from a large array of non-overlapping sample points. The MPC is compared with the conventional "single point collection" method, in which the laser beam is statically focused onto a particular spot and the scattered signals acquired. The MPC has the following advantages: (1) illumination and collection efficiencies are not compromised, (2) signal losses originating from analyte decomposition and/or alteration of the enhancing capabilities of the adsorption site are avoided, (3) high-quality SER spectra for analytes such as biomolecules and dipicolinic acid (a common marker for bacteria spores) can be easily obtained, and (4) the occurrence of broad amorphous carbon bands and the commonly observed temporal fluctuations in SERS are prevented. The success of the MPC is attributed to the reduction of local sample heating, as the time interval between the laser irradiations of a spot is much longer than the actual irradiation time itself.
DOI 10.1366/000370208784658165
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03430
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NEBIS System Number 000031958
Source Database ID PP-41468
WOS-000256873200022
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@article{Y2008,
  author = "Yeo, Boon-Siang and Schmid, Thomas and Zhang, Weihua and Zenobi, Renato",
  title = "{A} strategy to prevent signal losses, analyte decomposition, and fluctuating carbon contamination bands in surface-enhanced {R}aman spectroscopy",
  journal = "Applied spectroscopy",
  year = 2008,
  volume = "62",
  number = "6",
  pages = "708--713",
}


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