Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is boosted by the highly enhancement electromagnetic field around nanoparticles or nanostructures of plasmonic metals. It not only maintains the molecular fingerprint information of normal Raman spectroscopy, but also provides high detection sensitivity up to single molecule level. However, the widespread application of SERS will be expected if a complete understanding of SERS mechanism and reliable and reproducible SERS substrates can be achieved. To this purpose, we are interested in the following topic:
- SERS mechanism and plasmonics: understand the plasmonic behavior of metallic nanostructure. The purpose is to correlate various elemental plasmonic processes with the SERS and subsequent chemical and physical properties that may have potential application in controlled chemistry and energy. This is to be achieved by both theoretical calculation (DDA, FDTD, FEM) and experiments.
- SERS substrates: SERS substrates appear to be the key issue to the wide application of SERS. We aim to tackle this issue via the following two approaches: bottom up and top down approaches. In the bottom-up approach, we synthesize nanoparticle composite materials to obtain ultrahigh enhancement for single nanoparticles used as SERS substrates or SERS probes. In the top-down approach, we aim at developing interferometry-based method to fabricate large area periodic metallic nanostructures , which can be used as solid SERS substrates.
Developing instrumentation and methods for studying the dynamic processes in surface chemistry and biological systems.