Raman-encoded microbeads for spectral multiplexing with SERS detection

Yuming Lai, Shuqing Sun, Tao He, Sebastian Schlücker, Yuling Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Simultaneous detection of multiple molecular targets can greatly facilitate early diagnosis and drug discovery. Encoding micron-sized beads with optically active tags is one of the most popular methods to achieve multiplexing. Noble metal nanoparticle labels for optical detection by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) exhibit narrow bandwidths, high photostability and intense Raman signals. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of spectral multiplexing by SERS using micron-sized polystyrene (PS) beads loaded with SERS-active nanoparticles. The silica-encapsulated SERS nanotags comprise gold nanocrystals with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of aromatic thiols as Raman reporter molecules for spectral identification. SERS microspectroscopic images of single Raman-encoded PS microbeads indicate the homogeneous spatial distribution of the SERS-active nanoparticles on the surface of the beads. By using up to five different Raman reporters, 31 spectrally distinct micron-sized beads were encoded and characterized spectroscopically at the single-bead level. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13762-13767
Number of pages6
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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