Abstract

Quantitative applications of surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) are often limited by the reproducibility of SERRS intensities, given the difficulty of controlling analyte–substrate interactions and the associated local field enhancement. As demonstrated here, SERRS from dye molecules even within the same structural class that compete with similar substrates display distinct spectral intensities that are not proportional to analyte concentrations, which limits their use as internal standardization probes and/or for multiplex analysis. Recently, we demonstrated that isotopic variants of rhodamine 6G (R6G), namely R6G-d0 and R6G-d4, can be used for internal standards in SERRS experiments with a linear optical response from picomolar to micromolar concentrations (of total analytes). Here we extend these results by describing a straightforward method for obtaining isotopomeric pairs of other Raman active dyes by hydrogen–deuterium exchange conditions for substitution at electron rich aromatic heterocycles. Most of the known SERRS active probes can be converted into the corresponding isotopomeric molecule by this exchange method, which significantly expands the scope of the isotopic edited internal standard (IEIS) approach. The relative quantification using IEIS enables accurate, reproducible (residual standard deviation ±2.2%) concentration measurements over a range of 200 pM to 2 μM. These studies enable easy access to a variety of isotopically substituted Raman active dyes and establish the generality of the methodology for quantitative SERRS measurements. For the first time, three rhodamine 6G isotopomers have been created and show distinct Raman spectra, demonstrating the principle of the approach for application as a multiplex technique in biomolecular detection/quantification.

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