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Plasmonic Electronic Raman Scattering as Internal Standard for Spatial and Temporal Calibration in Quantitative Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 29.10.2020, 02:46 by Wonil Nam, Yuming Zhao, Junyeob Song, Seied Ali Safiabadi Tali, Seju Kang, Wenqi Zhu, Henri J. Lezec, Amit Agrawal, Peter J. Vikesland, Wei Zhou
Ultrasensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) still faces difficulties in quantitative analysis because of its susceptibility to local optical field variations at plasmonic hotspots in metallo-dielectric nanostructures. Current SERS calibration approaches using Raman tags have inherent limitations due to spatial occupation competition with analyte molecules, spectral interference with analyte Raman peaks, and photodegradation. Herein, we report that plasmon-enhanced electronic Raman scattering (ERS) signals from metal can serve as an internal standard for spatial and temporal calibration of molecular Raman scattering (MRS) signals from analyte molecules at the same hotspots, enabling rigorous quantitative SERS analysis. We observe a linear dependence between ERS and MRS signal intensities upon spatial and temporal variations of excitation optical fields, manifesting the |E|4 enhancements for both ERS and MRS processes at the same hotspots in agreement with our theoretical prediction. Furthermore, we find that the ERS calibration’s performance limit can result from orientation variations of analyte molecules at hotspots.