Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, SERS Substrates
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Ocean Optics introduces an innovative manufacturing method for SERS substrates. SERS amplifies the Raman effect by creating a plasmon resonance field. Using precisely controlled gold nanoparticles, Ocean Optics SERS substrates can amplify very weak Raman signals by many orders of magnitude, which is critical for trace level detection. Typical applications include trace level detection of explosives and narcotics and precision screening of food ingredients for controlled additives such as melamine and pesticides. SERS substrates also can be used for authentication and anti-counterfeiting applications using SERS-active taggants.
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- High sensitivity. Substrates deliver great results and have demonstrated superior sensitivity for a range of analytes when tested against competitor substrates
- Great stability. Highly stable substrates require no special handling and can be stored at room temperature
- Reliable reproducibility. Highly reproducible and easily scaled manufacturing methods enable sensitive measurements at an affordable price
- Customized form factors. Unique production techniques can be tailored to impart specificity to particular analytes (on demand) and custom form factors such as swabs and coatings
- Easy to use. For great flexibility, substrates work reliably with the complete range of Ocean Optics Raman instruments
- Detection of explosives. Being able to identify trace levels of explosives allows us to better screen for threats at security checkpoints or on the battlefield.
- Detection of narcotics. Fast identification of drugs in the field is a real boon for those combating drug-related crime. Often only small residues of a sample can be collected from a crime scene. SERS also opens up a potential route for fast roadside drug screening of drivers using saliva samples.
- Food safety. Certain additives such as melamine found in milk powder can be extremely harmful even at very low concentrations. Using SERS, we can qualify and quantify the level of dangerous trace elements in our food supply chain.
- Anti-counterfeit tagging. High value products that are subject to duties and taxes — petrol is one example — are often the target of piracy and fraud. By adding a small amount of a SERS-active taggant to the unadulterated product, detecting the presence of the taggant becomes an instant indicator of authenticity.
- Biological research. SERS can be used to identify and characterize biological samples including proteins, DNA and bacteria.