Application of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) to sensing

Laura Fabris, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering @Rutgers University
John Gilmore, Spectrometer Business Development Manager, Hamamatsu Corporation

December 15, 2020

About this webinar

Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a vibrational spectroscopic technique that has risen to prominence in sensing owing to its outstanding sensitivity and selectivity. Over the past decade, in particular, SERS has enabled the identification and quantification of a wide array of analytes, including small molecule drugs and toxins, metabolites, and disease biomarkers. It has also enabled to monitor chemical reactions in situ in real time and has recently expanded substantially in the direction of pathogen detection, in which the identification of parasites, bacteria, and viruses has been demonstrated also through rapid, low-cost assays.


In this webinar, we will present first a brief overview of SERS principles, then delve deep into the fundamental considerations that need to be made to ensure that sensing assays can be carried out with high sensitivity and selectivity. We will overview the main concepts of homogeneous and heterogeneous sensing, and provide design guidelines for the manufacture of SERS substrates, including how to generate (and calculate) high enhancement factors, how to obtain signal uniformity, and how to include internal standard, to enable quantification. We will then focus on surface functionalization strategies, particularly important when targeting analytes of biological origin.


Finally, we will present some practical examples of both homogeneous and heterogeneous SERS sensors and suggest future directions in which we believe that SERS will be able to maximize its impact.

About the presenter

Laura Fabris studied Chemistry at the University of Padua and finished her Master studies with her Master thesis "Artificial Photosynthetic Reaction Centers: Paramagnetic Intermediates Detected by EPR Spectroscopy" in 2001, She received her doctoral degree in Chemical Sciences in April 2006 from the same university. The title of her dissertation was "Peptide Monolayers on Gold Nanoparticles and Surfaces".[2] From 2006 to 2009, she was then a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In March 2009, she was also a visiting researcher at the National University of Singapore. In 2009, she became Asst. Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rutgers University. From June to August 2011, she was a visiting Professor in the Air Force Research Laboratory. Since July 2016, she is an associate professor at Rutgers University.


John D. Gilmore has been characterizing leading-edge photonic devices for over three decades. He has developed sophisticated test and measurement capabilities, enabling precise characterization of image sensors and spectrometers. In addition, he has vast knowledge of the operation, optimization, and practical use of photonic devices, with particular emphasis on image sensors, spectrometers, and Raman modules. He received his B.S. degree in electronic engineering technology (EET) from Capital Institute of Technology, Laurel, Md., in 1986, and received his M.S. degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in solid state devices and material processing from the New Jersey Institute, Newark, N.J., in 1993. He joined Hamamatsu Corp. in September of 1986 and is presently the spectrometer business development manager. He is currently involved with the development of application-specific inspection equipment, general spectrometer marketing, and advanced field technical support.