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Thorlabs Adds Textured Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrates to Its Portfolio

Newton, NJ – June 26, 2024 – Thorlabs is pleased to announce the release of a Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) Substrate. Based on its proprietary textured surface technology, SERS in a non-destructive, highly sensitive technique that can be used to measure extremely low sample concentrations with significantly lower incident power than traditional Raman spectroscopy. The SERS substrates are ideal for many types of sensing applications including analysis of chemical mixtures, identification of illegal or dangerous substances, quality inspection (pharmaceuticals, food, etc.), as well as monitoring chemical processes at production sites.

SERS Chip

RCT4M Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) Substrate

These new substrates utilize the nanotextured surface of a UV fused silica substrate, with a gold plasmonic layer deposited on top of the texturing, to provide parts per billion sensitivities in biosensing applications. The substrates, which are manufactured in-house within the cleanroom at Thorlabs’ South Carolina facility, exhibit high absorption of 785 nm Raman excitation light (greater than 60%) to create large, localized electric field enhancement (~104), which lead to enhanced Raman scattering. Compared to bare glass slides and glass slides coated in a thin layer of gold, Thorlabs’ SERS substrates provide clear Raman spectra for low concentration materials identification.

SERS Chip Graph

Effects of SERS on the Raman signal for 3 samples prepared with the same immersion method.

Matt Singer, one of the optics engineers who co-led the SERS development efforts alongside Dr. Longfei Ye, said, “The recent development of our nanotextured optics has led to some exciting new research pathways for nanophotonic devices. We are proud to release this SERS substrate, which utilizes plasmonics, to expand our product lines into the nano and meta world.”

The initial SERS Substrate catalog offering consists of a single SERS substrate measuring 4.5 mm x 4.5 mm x 0.5 mm (Item # RCT4M) and a five pack of SERS chips (Item # RCT4M-P5), which are compatible with Thorlabs’ Modular Raman Kit and Portable Raman Spectrometer. Requests for custom quantities or sizes are welcome.

For more information on Thorlabs’ SERS Substrates or custom OEM capabilities, please visit the webpage.