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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 124582, 12 pages
Review Article

Nanoparticle Properties and Synthesis Effects on Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Enhancement Factor: An Introduction

Department of Biological Engineering, Utah State University, 4105 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA

Received 29 August 2014; Revised 1 November 2014; Accepted 2 November 2014

Academic Editor: Xiao-Feng Zhao

Copyright © 2015 Nathan D. Israelsen et al. 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.


Raman spectroscopy has enabled researchers to map the specific chemical makeup of surfaces, solutions, and even cells. However, the inherent insensitivity of the technique makes it difficult to use and statistically complicated. When Raman active molecules are near gold or silver nanoparticles, the Raman intensity is significantly amplified. This phenomenon is referred to as surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The extent of SERS enhancement is due to a variety of factors such as nanoparticle size, shape, material, and configuration. The choice of Raman reporters and protective coatings will also influence SERS enhancement. This review provides an introduction to how these factors influence signal enhancement and how to optimize them during synthesis of SERS nanoparticles.