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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Free-Space and Waveguide-Based SERS Platforms

Photonics Research Group, Department of Information Technology, Ghent University-IMEC, Technologiepark 126, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
Center for Nano- and Biophotonics, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
IMEC, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
CoCooN Research Group, Department of Solid State Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
NanoBioTechnology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1401;
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 28 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Nano-World)
Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) allows for the highly specific detection of molecules by enhancing the inherently weak Raman signals near the surface of plasmonic nanostructures. A variety of plasmonic nanostructures have been developed for SERS signal excitation and collection in a conventional free-space microscope, among which the gold nanodomes offer one of the highest SERS enhancements. Nanophotonic waveguides have recently emerged as an alternative to the conventional Raman microscope as they can be used to efficiently excite and collect Raman signals. Integration of plasmonic structures on nanophotonic waveguides enables reproducible waveguide-based excitation and collection of SERS spectra, such as in nanoplasmonic slot waveguides. In this paper, we compare the SERS performance of gold nanodomes, in which the signal is excited and collected in free space, and waveguide-based nanoplasmonic slot waveguide. We evaluate the SERS signal enhancement and the SERS background of the different SERS platforms using a monolayer of nitrothiophenol. We show that the nanoplasmonic slot waveguide approaches the gold nanodomes in terms of the signal-to-background ratio. We additionally demonstrate the first-time detection of a peptide monolayer on a waveguide-based SERS platform, paving the way towards the SERS monitoring of biologically relevant molecules on an integrated lab-on-a-chip platform. View Full-Text
Keywords: Raman spectroscopy; SERS; photonic integrated circuit; waveguide-based SERS; nanoplasmonic slot waveguide; gold nanodomes; peptide detection Raman spectroscopy; SERS; photonic integrated circuit; waveguide-based SERS; nanoplasmonic slot waveguide; gold nanodomes; peptide detection
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Turk, N.; Raza, A.; Wuytens, P.; Demol, H.; Van Daele, M.; Detavernier, C.; Skirtach, A.; Gevaert, K.; Baets, R. Comparison of Free-Space and Waveguide-Based SERS Platforms. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1401.

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