Application of molecular SERS nanosensors: where we stand and where we are headed towards?
in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2020)
Molecular specific and highly sensitive detection is the driving force of the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) community. The technique opens the window to the undisturbed monitoring of cellular processes in situ or to the quantification of smallmolecular species that do not deliver Raman signals. The smart design of molecular SERS nanosensors makes it possible to indirectly but specifically detect, e.g. reactive oxygen species, carbon monoxide or potentially toxic metal ions. Detection schemes evolved over the years from simple metallic colloidal nanoparticles functionalized with sensing molecules that show uncontrolled aggregation to complex nanostructures with magnetic properties making the analysis of complex environmental samples possible. The present article gives the readership an overview of the present research advancements in the field of molecular SERS sensors, highlighting future trends.