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Anal Chem. 2003 Nov 15;75(22):6171-6.

Spectroscopic tags using dye-embedded nanoparticles and surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

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Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry, Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, 1639 Pierce Drive, Suite 2001, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Surface-enhanced Raman scattering is capable of providing rich vibrational information at the level of single molecules and single nanoparticles, but the practical applications of this enormous enhancement effect are still a challenge. Here we report a new class of dye-embedded core-shell nanoparticles that are highly efficient for surface Raman enhancement and could be used as spectroscopic tags for multiplexed detection and spectroscopy. The core-shell particles contain a metallic core for optical enhancement, a reporter molecule for spectroscopic signature, and an encapsulating silica shell for protection and conjugation. A surprising finding is that organic molecules with an isothiocyanate (-N=C=S) group or multiple sulfur atoms are compatible with silica encapsulation. In comparison with fluorescent dyes and quantum dots, enhanced Raman probes contain a built-in mechanism for signal amplification and provide rich spectroscopic information under ambient experimental conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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