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Keywords:

  • SERS probes;
  • Raman imaging;
  • core-shell gold nanostructures;
  • electromagnetic hot-spots
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Conventional SERS probes suffer from limited brightness and poor reproducibility and stability making them unsuitable for routine in vivo applications. A novel class of layered SERS probes is demonstrated in which individual nanostructures host electromagnetic hotspots, thus increasing brightness by more than two orders magnitide compared to conventional individual nanostructures.