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  • Received: Dec. 9, 2019

    Accepted: Feb. 3, 2020

    Posted: Mar. 6, 2020

    Published Online: Mar. 6, 2020

    The Author Email: Yu Yang (, Xiao Ting-Hui (, Wu Yunzhao (, Li Wanjun (, Zeng Qing-Guang (, Long Li (, Li Zhi-Yuan (

    DOI: 10.1117/1.AP.2.1.014002

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    Yang Yu, Ting-Hui Xiao, Yunzhao Wu, Wanjun Li, Qing-Guang Zeng, Li Long, Zhi-Yuan Li. Roadmap for single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy[J]. Advanced Photonics, 2020, 2(1): 014002

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Advanced Photonics, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 014002 (2020)

Roadmap for single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Yang Yu1,†, Ting-Hui Xiao2,*, Yunzhao Wu2, Wanjun Li1, Qing-Guang Zeng1, Li Long3, and Zhi-Yuan Li3,*

Author Affiliations

  • 1Wuyi University, School of Applied Physics and Materials, Jiangmen, China
  • 2University of Tokyo, Department of Chemistry, Tokyo, Japan
  • 3South China University of Technology, School of Physics and Optoelectronics, Guangzhou, China


In the near future, single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is expected to expand the family of popular analytical tools for single-molecule characterization. We provide a roadmap for achieving single molecule SERS through different enhancement strategies for diverse applications. We introduce some characteristic features related to single-molecule SERS, such as Raman enhancement factor, intensity fluctuation, and data analysis. We then review recent strategies for enhancing the Raman signal intensities of single molecules, including electromagnetic enhancement, chemical enhancement, and resonance enhancement strategies. To demonstrate the utility of single-molecule SERS in practical applications, we present several examples of its use in various fields, including catalysis, imaging, and nanoelectronics. Finally, we specify current challenges in the development of single-molecule SERS and propose corresponding solutions.


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