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Special Issue "SERS-Active Substrates"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Fabrizio Giorgis

Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico of Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: optics and photonics; plasmonics; nanotechnological processes; optical biosensing; surface-enhanced Raman scattering
Guest Editor
Prof. Hugo Aguas

Department of Materials Science / CENIMAT/i3N, Faculty of Science and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon, CEMOP/UNINOVA, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: microfluidics; optical sensors; biosensors; nanostructured metallic surfaces; surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) active substrates

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering/spectroscopy (SERS) has attracted increasing interest, both in terms of fundamental Physics/Chemistry and application in several fields, such as materials science, environmental sciences, sensors, biology, biophysics, and medicine. In fact, SERS can be exploited as a label-free detection method able to provide ultra-high sensitivity within biomolecular and chemical sensing. Typical SERS-active substrates are composed of noble metals (Au, Ag, Pt, etc.) in the form of roughened surfaces, nanoparticle aggregates, or arrayed elements.

Recently, a great deal of high quality research has been addressed to solid SERS nanostructured substrates, which can yield electromagnetic enhancement linked to surface plasmon resonances and/or chemical enhancement due to charge transfer processes. In addition to noble metals, semiconductors and transition metal-oxides have emerged as potential SERS-active substrates. The merging of electromagnetic and chemical enhancements can make SERS a powerful technique allowing vibrational spectra detection even from individual molecules. Moreover, microfluidic devices coupled with SERS detection methods are attracting great attention for the possibility to integrate in sensing platforms a biological or chemical protocol with a very sensitive technique, approaching a controlled analyte injection, a uniform molecular distribution and a reduced reagent volume.

This Special Issue aims to introduce recent progress in the synthesis and application of SERS-active substrates promoting a synergy of several complementary competences in the research community.

Prof. Fabrizio Giorgis
Prof. Hugo Aguas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)
  • Plasmonic nanoparticles
  • Metal-dielectric nanostructures
  • Nano Technological fabrication
  • Low cost, efficient, uniform and reproducible SERS substrates fabrication technologies
  • Trace hazard substances detection
  • Portable SERS systems
  • Microfluidics
  • Biosensing

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title:Optical Aggregation of Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles for SERS Biosensing In-liquid Environment: Towards Quantitative and Selective Detection of Proteins and Toxins
Author(s): A. Foti 1, C. D’Andrea 1, V. Villari 1, N. Micali 1, M. G. Donato 1, O. M. Maragò 1, M. Lamy de La Chapelle 2 and P. G. Gucciardi 1
Affiliation(s): 1 CNR – IPCF Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici, Viale F. Stagno D’Alcontres 37, I-98158 Messina, Italy
2 Laboratoire CSPBAT, CNRS (UMR 7244), Université Paris 13, Bobigny, France
Abstract: Optical forces can be used to manipulate plasmonic nanoparticles [1] and create SERS-active hot spots in liquid [2]. Biomolecules dispersed in liquid solutions can be detected using this approach with sensitivity down 100 nM [3]. Here we apply this methodology to detect catalase and hemoglobin (Raman resonant molecules) reaching sensitivities of 10nM and 1 pM, respectively. We provide first evidence of quantitative detection of Bovine Serum Albumin, when stable aggregation conditions are met. Finally, we show that molecular specificity can be added to this methodology using nanoparticles functionalized with aptamers, providing first results on the detection of ocratoxin A, a fungal toxin occurring in food commodities and wine.

[1] O. M. Maragò, et al., Nat. Nanotech. 8, 807 (2013).
[2] P. P. Patra et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4357 (2014)
[3] B. Fazio et al. Sci. Rep. 26952 (2016)

Type of Paper: Review
Title: In-situ fabrication of nanostructured SERS substrates
Author(s): Hugo Águas
Affiliation(s): Department of Materials Science / CENIMAT/i3N, Faculty of Science and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Dual-width nanoslit mesh array metasurface as a high hot-spot density SERS active substrate
Author(s): Z. T. Brawley, S. J. Bauman, A. A. Darweesh, J. B. Herzog
Affiliation(s): Department of Physics, 825 W. Dickson St., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, AR, 72701, USA

Type of Paper: Article
Title: TopUp SERS substrates with integrated internal standard
Author(s): Sophie Patze, Uwe Hübner, Karina Weber, Dana Cialla-May, Jürgen Popp
Affiliation(s): Institute of Physical Chemistry, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Progress in development of SERS substrates based on metal-coated porous silicon
Author(s): Hanna V. Bandarenka, Kseniya V. Girel, Andrei Yu. Panarin, Sergei N. Terekhov and Vitaly P. Bondarenko
Affiliation(s): Laboratory of materials and structures of nanoelectronics, Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics

Type of Paper: Article

Title: Tunable plasmonic nanowires for molecular sensing

Author(s): Enzo Di Fabrizio

Affiliation(s): Physical Science & Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Journal Contact

Materials Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
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