MRI: Acquisition of Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy System
Frank Bright Principal Investigator
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With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program that is co-funded by Chemistry, Professor Frank Bright from SUNY Buffalo and colleagues Joseph Gardella, Athos Petrou, Esther Takeuchi and Sarbajit Banerjee will acquire a tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) system. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research training and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) nanocrystalline sensor platforms, (b) vanadium dioxide and metal vanadate (MxV2O5, where M = Na, K, Cu, Zn) nanowires, (c) biodegradable repair and delivery constructs, (d) magneto-polarons within single ZnMnTe quantum dots, (e) advanced energy storage materials, (f) nanodiamond-based separations, (g) nanoscopic heterogeneity within antifouling and fouling release film surfaces, (h) hydroxyapatite nucleation and growth, (i) organic nanotubes and periodic nanomaterials, (j) substrate-catalyzed monolayer photolithography and energy-conversion, (k) photo-crystallization within amorphous selenium, (l) development of terahertz technologies based on graphene heterostructures, and (m) flexible hybrid xerogel/Bragg grating platforms for wound sensing and restitution.<br/><br/>Raman spectroscopy is a vibrational spectroscopy technique that serves as a powerful analytical tool to identify sample structures. However, the intensity of normal Raman spectroscopy is not very strong and thus ways to enhance the signal are essential. The tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) method is based on the combination of Raman spectroscopy, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The TERS effect uses a metal-coated AFM tip as an antenna that enhances the Raman signal coming from the sample area in contact with the tip. Because the AFM tip is on the nanometer scale, it is possible to obtain localized enhancement on the same scale. By differentiating the tip enhanced Raman from the normal Raman (tip away from the sample) it is possible to obtain Raman information from areas <100 nm in diameter. The requested TERS system will facilitate the characterization of thin films, nanostructures, and porous surfaces and will serve to train undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdocs. It will also be used in outreach activities at the K-12 level.