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Inherent Complexities of Trace Detection by Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering

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Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) are powerful optical scattering techniques used in such frontier areas of research as ultrasensitive chemical analysis, the characterization of nanostructures, and the detection of single molecules. However, measuring and, most importantly, interpreting SERS/SERRS spectra can be incredibly challenging. This is the result of modifications to the measured spectra that are due to of a variety of instabilities and contributions. These interferences and modifications arise from the nature of the enhancement itself, as well as the conditions used to attain SERS spectra. The present report is an attempt to collect in one place the analytical interferences that are most commonly found during the collection of SERS/SERRS spectra.

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