Surface-enhanced Raman scattering in local optical fields of silver and gold nanoaggregates-from single-molecule Raman spectroscopy to ultrasensitive probing in live cells

Acc Chem Res. 2006 Jul;39(7):443-50. doi: 10.1021/ar050107x.


This Account discusses surface-enhanced Raman scattering at extremely high enhancement levels that can occur for molecules attached to silver and gold nanoclusters. Strongly enhanced and highly confined local optical fields enable surface-enhanced Stokes and anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy of single molecules even under nonresonant excitation conditions as well as extremely large effective cross sections in two-photon excited Raman spectroscopy. The ability for very sensitive and spatially confined molecular structural probing makes gold and silver nanoclusters very promising tools for studies of small structures in biological materials, such as cellular compartments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cells
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Molecular Probes
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Silver / chemistry*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*
  • Surface Properties


  • Molecular Probes
  • Silver
  • Gold