Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a powerful vibrational spectroscopy technique that allows for highly sensitive structural detection of low concentration analytes through the amplification of electromagnetic fields generated by the excitation of localized surface plasmons. SERS has progressed from studies of model systems on roughened electrodes to highly sophisticated studies, such as single molecule spectroscopy. We summarize the current state of knowledge concerning the mechanism of SERS and new substrate materials. We highlight recent applications of SERS including sensing, spectroelectrochemistry, single molecule SERS, and real-world applications. We also discuss contributions to the field from the Van Duyne group. This review concludes with a discussion of future directions for this field including biological probing with UV-SERS, tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and ultrafast SERS.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(12)70017-2