Stem-loop oligonucleotides tagged with organic dyes are employed as capture and reporter probes in a molecular beacon-based signal-off surface- enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) strategy. DNA strands are immobilized on a gold nanoparticle-decorated silicon nanowire array (AuNPs@SiNWAr). DNA with a concentration down to ≈10 fM is detected under irradiation from a low-power laser, which is better than or comparable to that detected by signal-on SERS methods. The signal-off strategy allows identification of single-base mismatches and detection of multiplexed DNA.
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