SERS was discovered in the 1970s and has since grown enormously in breadth, depth, and understanding. One of the major characteristics of SERS is its interdisciplinary nature: it lies at the boundary between physics, chemistry, colloid science, plasmonics, nanotechnology, and biology. By their very nature, it is impossible to find a textbook that will summarize the principles needed for SERS of these rather dissimilar and disconnected topics. Although a basic understanding of these topics is necessary for research projects in SERS with all its many aspects and applications, they are seldom touched upon as a coherent unit during most undergraduate studies in physics or chemistry. This book intends to fill this existing gap in the literature. It provides an overview of the underlying principles of SERS, from the fundamental understanding of the effect to its potential applications. It is aimed primarily at newcomers to the field, graduate students, researchers or scientists, attracted by the many applications of SERS and plasmonics or its basic science. The emphasis is on concepts and background material for SERS, such as Raman spectroscopy, the physics of plasmons, or colloid science, all of them introduced within the context of SERS, and from where the more specialized literature can be followed.

Key Features

  • Represents one of very few books fully dedicated to the topic of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)
  • Gives a comprehensive summary of the underlying physical concepts around SERS
  • Provides a detailed analysis of plasmons and plasmonics


Graduate students, researchers and scientists working in physics, chemistry, chemical physics, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry and biology who require a general reference in the field of Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Table of Contents

Preface Notations, units and other conventions 1 A quick overview of SERS 1.1 What is SERS? - Basic principles 1.2 SERS probes and SERS substrates 1.2.1 SERS substrates 1.2.2 SERS probes 1.2.3 Example 1.3 Other important aspects of SERS 1.3.1 SERS enhancements 1.3.2 Sample preparation and metal/probe interaction 1.3.3 Main characteristics of the SERS signals 1.3.4 Related techniques 1.3.5 Related areas 1.4 Applications of SERS 1.4.1 Raman with improved sensitivity 1.4.2 SERS vs. fluorescence spectroscopy 1.4.3 Applications specific to SERS 1.5 The current status of SERS 1.5.1 Brief history of SERS 1.5.2 Where is SERS now? 1.5.3 Current “hot topics” 1.6 Overview of the book content 1.6.1 General outline of the book 1.6.2 General “spirit” of the book 1.6.3 Different reading plans 2 Raman spectroscopy and related techniques 2.1 A brief introduction 2.1.1 The discovery of the Raman effect 2.1.2 Some applications of Raman spectroscopy 2.1.3 Raman spectroscopy instrumentation 2.2 Optical spectroscopy of molecules 2.2.1 The energy levels of molecules 2.2.2 Spectroscopic units and conversions 2.2.3 Optical absorption 2.2.4 Emission and luminescence 2.2.5 Scattering processes 2.2.6 The concept of cross-section 2.2.7 The Raman cross-sections 2.2.8 Examples of Raman cross-sections 2.2.9 Mechanical analogs 2.3 Absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy 2.3.1 Optical absorption and UV/Vis spectroscopy


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© 2009
Elsevier Science
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About the authors

Eric Le Ru

Affiliations and Expertise

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Pablo Etchegoin

Affiliations and Expertise

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand