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Volume 24, Issue 1-2, Pages 119-124

Surface- and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy of DNA

L. E. Hennemann,1 A. J. Meixner,1,2 and D. Zhang1,2

1Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
2Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Calf thymus DNA adsorbed on a rough gold substrate or on an atomically smooth gold (111) surface has been investigated by collecting its unique Raman fingerprints using either surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) or tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS). A monolayer coverage of DNA strands adsorbed at both the irregular rough edges of evaporated gold grids and at gold nanoparticles is detected by SERS. Highly improved sensitivity down to single DNA strand spectroscopic determination is accomplished by TERS providing an enhancement factor of at least 1400. Based on our experimental results, we propose that TERS is a promising technique to study the DNA–drug molecule interaction on the level of a single DNA strand.