Surface-enhanced Raman optical activity on adenine in silver colloidal solution

Anal Chem. 2006 Feb 15;78(4):1363-6. doi: 10.1021/ac0516382.


We report the collection of Raman optical activity (ROA) spectra of adenine in silver colloidal solution, that is, surface-enhanced Raman optical activity (SEROA) using considerably shorter data acquisition times, reduced excitation power, and lower concentration, as compared to classical ROA measurements on molecules of biological interest so far reported in the literature. These improvements in experimental parameters for ROA measurements can be explained by enhanced Raman signals in the local optical fields of the silver nanoparticles and by at least 1 order of magnitude higher values for circular intensity differences (CIDs), as compared to classical ROA that has been suggested before and theoretically discussed in terms of large field gradients near a metal surface. The measured ROA effect for adenine can be understood in terms of adsorption-induced chirality in the prochiral molecules on the silver nanoparticles. Surface-enhanced Raman optical activity offers potential capabilities for sensitive, rapid, stereochemical characterization of basic building blocks of biopolymers, such as amino acids and nucleosides, as well as biologically active molecules, in particular, also for probing organization and self-assembling of such molecules on metal surfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / chemistry*
  • Colloids*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Silver / chemistry*
  • Solubility
  • Solutions
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*


  • Colloids
  • Solutions
  • Silver
  • Adenine