Surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering: Single-molecule detection in a Langmuir-Blodgett monolayer
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Surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) is used for single-molecule detection from spatially resolved 1-mum(2) sections of a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) monolayer deposited onto a Ag film. The target molecule, his (benzimidazo) thioperylene (BZP), is dispersed in an arachidic acid monomolecular layer containing one BZP molecule per mum(2) which is also the probing area of the Raman microscope. For concentrated samples (attomole quantities in the field of view), average SERRS, surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF), and Raman imaging, including line mapping and global images at different temperatures, were recorded. Single-molecule SERRS spectra, obtained using an LB monolayer, present changes in bandwidth and relative intensities, highlighting the properties of single-molecule SERRS that are lost in average SERRS measurements of mixed LB monolayers obtained at the same temperatures. Also, the dilute system phenomenon of blinking is discussed with regard to results obtained from LB monolayers. The dilution process used in the single-molecule LB SERRS work is independently supported by fluorescence results obtained from very dilute solutions with monomer concentrations down to 10(-12) M.