The ability to control the size, shape, and material of a surface has reinvigorated the field of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Because excitation of the localized surface plasmon resonance of a nanostructured surface or nanoparticle lies at the heart of SERS, the ability to reliably control the surface characteristics has taken SERS from an interesting surface phenomenon to a rapidly developing analytical tool. This article first explains many fundamental features of SERS and then describes the use of nanosphere lithography for the fabrication of highly reproducible and robust SERS substrates. In particular, we review metal film over nanosphere surfaces as excellent candidates for several experiments that were once impossible with more primitive SERS substrates (e.g., metal island films). The article also describes progress in applying SERS to the detection of chemical warfare agents and several biological molecules.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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