High Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Performance of Individual Gold Nanoflowers and Their Application in Live Cell Imaging

Authors

  • Qi Li,

    1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China
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  • Yuanyuan Jiang,

    1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China
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  • Rongcheng Han,

    1. Single-molecule and Nanobiology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, School of Basic Medical Sciences and Biomed-X Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China
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  • Xiaolan Zhong,

    1. Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, PR China
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  • Siyun Liu,

    1. Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, PR China
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  • Zhi-Yuan Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, PR China
    • Zhi-Yuan Li, Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, PR China.

      Yinlin Sha, Single-molecule and Nanobiology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, School of Basic Medical Sciences and Biomed-X Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China

      Dongsheng Xu, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China

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  • Yinlin Sha,

    Corresponding author
    1. Single-molecule and Nanobiology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, School of Basic Medical Sciences and Biomed-X Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China
    • Zhi-Yuan Li, Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, PR China.

      Yinlin Sha, Single-molecule and Nanobiology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, School of Basic Medical Sciences and Biomed-X Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China

      Dongsheng Xu, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China

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  • Dongsheng Xu

    Corresponding author
    1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China
    • Zhi-Yuan Li, Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, PR China.

      Yinlin Sha, Single-molecule and Nanobiology Laboratory, Department of Biophysics, School of Basic Medical Sciences and Biomed-X Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China

      Dongsheng Xu, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China

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Abstract

Molecular imaging techniques based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) face a lack of reproducibility and reliability, thus hampering its practical application. Flower-like gold nanoparticles have strong SERS enhancement performance due to having plenty of hot-spots on their surfaces, and this enhancement is not dependent on the aggregation of the particles. These features make this kind of particle an ideal SERS substrate to improve the reproducibility in SERS imaging. Here, the SERS properties of individual flower-like gold nanoparticles are systematically investigated. The measurements reveal that the enhancement of a single gold nanoparticle is independent of the polarization of the excitation laser with an enhancement factor as high as 108. After capping with Raman signal molecules and folic acid, the gold nanoflowers show strong Raman signal in the living cells, excellent targeting properties, and a high signal-to-noise ratio for SERS imaging.

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