I made my first magnetic nanoparticles during my grad school in 2006 and have been fascinated by them ever since. They are so tiny and yet they can do so much. There are hundreds upon hundreds of ways by which you can functionalize them to perform various tasks.
The central theme of my research is finding a nanoparticle-based solutions to prevalent problems. In particular, water and air quality testing through spectroscopy. Eventually, we can formulate multifunctional nanoparticles for water remediation.
The main technique of detection that I usually employ is Raman spectroscopy. As an analysis tool, Raman spectroscopy is non-destructive and provides information bout the composition and structure of the material. It is highly selective since each molecular species has its own unique fingerprint. The spectrum resulting from the measurement is information rich. The intensity of the peaks, Raman shift, bandshape broadening and changes in lineshape all contribute to providing a clear picture of the sample.
Surface - Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
SERS is a truly nanoscience phenomenon since it requires a metallic nanostructure to be present for the enhancement effect to manifest. There are three main components of a SERS set-up: the analyte molecule, the exciting radiation and the metallic substrate
containing nanoparticles. It is an advanced Raman technique to alleviate the inherently weak Raman signals of most materials, especially at low concentrations.