Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

Optical Transformer for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

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Ming C. Wu, Eli Yablonovitch, Constance Chang-Hasnain, Jeffrey Bokor, Andrew R. Neureuther, Luke Lee1, Jim Schuck2 and Jeff Neaton3

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) is a powerful technique for detecting biological and chemical warfare agents, as the Raman spectrum provides a unique fingerprint of molecules and unique label-free detection capability without typical fluorescent labeling steps. Though single-molecule detection has been reported using SERS, a key difficulty has been the lack of control of the hot spots that give huge signals, such as those found in the inhomogeneous arrays of metal particles in aqueous solutions.

The goal of this project is to develop a systematic understanding of the enhancement factors in SERS. We propose to use nano-optical transformers to match the impedances of the molecules and the optical antenna, leading to predictable, engineerable, and reproducible large SERS enhancement.

1UCB Bioengineering Department
2Molecular Foundry, LBL
3Molecular Foundry, LBL