Surface-enhanced Raman scattering biosensor for DNA detection on nanoparticle island substrates

Wu Yuan, Ho Pui Ho, Rebecca K.Y. Lee, Siu Kai Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We present a study on the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) properties of Ag nanoparticle island substrates (NIS) and their applications for target oligonucleotide (OND) detection. It has been found that the surface nanostructure of NIS samples can be controlled with a good degree of reproducibility, and a high SERS enhancement can be achieved when the peak extinction wavelength of NIS is tuned to a spectral window (∼60nm) between the excitation wavelength and the scattered Raman wavelength. The highest SERS enhancement was obtained from the NIS substrates with a nominal thickness of 50 A. Detection of target OND was performed with a sandwich format in which the target OND was hybridized both to a capture OND immobilized on the NIS substrate, and a detection OND conjugated with a Raman-active dye for SERS signal generation. We compare the detection performance of two strategies based on the use of the detection OND with or without the gold nanoparticle (Au-NP). Our results confirm that, when the detection OND is coupled to the Au-NP, a better sensitivity for the target OND detection, in terms of a wider dynamic range and a lower detection limit (0.4fM versus 1 nM without Au-NP), would be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4329-4337
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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