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Cover image for Vol. 11 Issue 20

7_02/2011Nanoplasmonics: Beyond the SERS: Raman Enhancement of Small Molecules Using Nanofluidic Channels with Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (Small 2/2011)

The cover image shows a monolayer of silica nanospheres covered by a silver film. When a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) slab is placed over the monolayer, interstitial nanogaps between the PDMS and the silver-coated nanospheres can be utilized as nanofl uidic channels, where small molecules can be easily trapped at nanofluidic stagnation points, which also correspond to electromagnetic hot spots. Although Raman signal is very attractive for detecting the fingerprints of biomolecules, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can be used for identifying low-molecular-weight organic compounds at low concentrations, the current limit is at micromolar levels. Small molecules, such as neurotransmitters, have very low Raman scattering, but using nanofluidics they can be positioned near electromagnetic hot spots, enhancing their SERS scattering. This combination of nanofluidics and nanoplasmonics enables the Raman detection of major neurotransmitters at nanomolar levels. For more information, please read the Communication “Beyond the SERS: Raman Enhancement of Small Molecules Using Nanofluidic Channels with Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance” by K.-H. Jeong and co-workers beginning on page 184.

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