Smart sensor detects single molecule in chemical compounds—16 November 2015

Australian and Italian researchers, assisted by ARC funding, have developed a smart sensor that can detect single molecules in chemical and biological compounds—a highly valued function in medicine, security and defence. Researchers from The University of New South Wales, Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University and the University of Parma in Italy used a chemical and biochemical sensing technique called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), which is used to understand more about the make-up of materials. They were able to greatly amplify the technique’s performance by taking advantage of metal nanostructures, which help generate ‘hotspots’ in close proximity to the metal surfaces. The technique used in this work has various applications for other measurement and detection systems sensitive to humidity, pH and light.

Media issued by Swinburne University of Technology.

Image: A single molecule, trapped by the thermoresponsive polymer in the nanogap, is irradiated by laser light and emits SERS radiation enhanced by the nanoparticle plasmonic resonance.
Image courtesy: Swinburne University of Technology.

Original Published Date: 
Monday, November 16, 2015