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Keywords:

  • plasmonics;
  • Raman spectroscopy;
  • SERS;
  • spectroscopic methods;
  • surfaces

Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has become a mature vibrational spectroscopic technique during the last decades and the number of applications in the chemical, material, and in particular life sciences is rapidly increasing. This Review explains the basic theory of SERS in a brief tutorial and—based on original results from recent research—summarizes fundamental aspects necessary for understanding SERS and provides examples for the preparation of plasmonic nanostructures for SERS. Chemical applications of SERS are the centerpiece of this Review. They cover a broad range of topics such as catalysis and spectroelectrochemistry, single-molecule detection, and (bio)analytical chemistry.