• SERS;
  • substrates;
  • nanostructures;
  • reproducibility;
  • enhancement


We review the performance of various nanoscaled structures needed to support the propagation of the surface plasmons responsible for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and assess the potential for the optimisation of the compromise between enhancement and reproducibility that they provide, and hence their utility for relevant applications. We divide these nanostructures into those comprising structured arrays of discrete nanoparticles in two or three dimensions, and those comprising structured or regularly patterned surfaces in two or three dimensions. The most promising in terms of this compromise are those that involve the tethering of functionalised metal nanoparticles to surfaces. They are not only reproducible, but the functionalisation provides a measure of selectivity to relevant target analytes that the majority of SERS applications require. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.