Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

Raman spectroscopy is a versatile, non-invasive spectroscopic method for characterizing different materials with light. It is based on measuring Raman scattering, which is unique to all materials and allows the chemical composition of the sample to be analyzed.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is an extension of Raman spectroscopy, where metallic nanostructures are used to enhance the intensity of Raman scattering. This can substantially improve the limit of detection and allows very small concentration of substances to be detected and identified. This means that SERS has potential applications in various fields from analytical chemistry to environmental monitoring and forensic sciences.

Our group has had its focus in developing different methods for creating SERS nanostructures in a simple way.  Lately, we have moved more towards the application side of SERS, including studies in detecting illegal food additives and biomarkers related to diseases like malaria, for example.


  • Prof. Pasi Vahimaa
  • PhD Tarmo Nuutinen
  • PhD student Antti Matikainen
  • PhD student  Salman Daniel
  • MSc student Kyei Kwarkye
  • MSc student Eric Amankwa
  • MSc student Sampson Andoh

Former members:

  • PhD Jussi Rahomäki

More information about the research:

Externally funded projects:

  • Gaining Raman imaging with photonics crystals and aperiodic nanostructures (Finnish-Brazilian joint project), 2010-2013. Funded by the Academy of Finland,
  • Multi-spectral optical sensoring, 2015-2016. Funded by the Academy of Finland,


G. Kang, A. Matikainen, P. Stenberg, E. Färm, P. Li, M. Ritala, P. Vahimaa, S. Honkanen, and X. Tan, ”High Aspect-Ratio Iridium Coated Nanopillars for Highly Reproducible Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS),”  ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 7, 11452 (2015).

A. Matikainen, T. Nuutinen,  P. Vahimaa, and S. Honkanen, ” A solution to the fabrication and tarnishing problems of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) fiber probes,” Scientific Reports, 5, 8320 (2015).

H. Stenberg, A. Matikainen, S. Daniel, T. Nuutinen, P. Stenberg, S. Honkanen, T. Pakkanen, P. Vahimaa, and M. Suvanto, ” Self-organized Polymer Wrinkles: A Lithography-free Pathway for Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Substrates, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 300, 386-390 (2015).

S. Daniel, A. Matikainen, P. Vahimaa, T. Nuutinen, and J. Turunen, ”Uniform distribution of Ag particles upon imprinted polymer grating for Raman Signal enhancement,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 437, 119-123 (2014).

S. Chervinskii, A. Matikainen, A. Dergachev, A. Lipovskii, S. Honkanen. “Out-diffused silver island films for surface-enhanced Raman scattering protected with TiO2 films using atomic layer deposition”, Nanoscale Research Letters, 9, 398, (2014).

J. Rahomäki, T. Nuutinen, L. Karvonen, S. Honkanen, and P. Vahimaa ”Horizontal slot waveguide channel for enhanced Raman scattering, Optics Express, 21, 9060-9068 (2013).