Exploring single-molecule SERS and single-nanoparticle plasmon microscopy

Kristin L. Wustholz, Anne Isabelle Henry, Julia M. Bingham, Samuel L. Kleinman, Michael J. Natan, R. Griffith Freeman, Richard P. Van Duyne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In this work we perform correlated structural and optical studies of single nanoparticles as well as explore the generality of SMSERS. First, wide-field plasmon resonance microscopy is used to simultaneously determine the LSPR spectra of multiple Ag nanoprisms, whose structure is determined using TEM. Next, the structure-property relationships for well-defined and easily-controlled nanoparticle structures (e.g. monomers, dimers, and trimers) are studied using correlated TEM, LSPR, and SERS measurements of individual SERS nanotags. We present the SER spectrum of reporter molecules on a single nanotag comprised of a Au trimer. It was determined that of 40 individual nanotags, just 19 exhibited SERS. The remaining nanoparticles were established by TEM to be monomers. These results demonstrate that SERS signal is observed from individual nanotags containing a junction or hot spot. Lastly, we explore crystal violet, a triphenyl methane dye that was used in the seminal SMSERS investigations, and re-examine single-molecule sensitivity using the isotopologue approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlasmonics
Subtitle of host publicationMetallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties VII
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventPlasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties VII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 2 Aug 20096 Aug 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferencePlasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation0911145


    • Crystal violet
    • LSPR imaging
    • Localized surface plasmon resonance
    • Nanoprisms
    • SERS nanotags
    • Single-nanoparticle spectroscopy
    • Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
    • Transmission electron microscopy
    • Wide-field imaging


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