Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy is a popular technique for detecting chemicals in small quantities. Rough metallic surfaces with nanofeatures are some of the most widespread and commercially successful substrates for efficient SERS measurements. A rough metallic surface creates a high-density random distribution of so-called “hot spots” with local optical field enhancement causing Raman signal to increase. In this Letter, we revisit the classic SERS experiment [Surf. Sci. 158, 229 (1985) [CrossRef]  ] with rough metallic surfaces covered by a thin layer of copper phthalocyanine molecules. As a modification to the classic configuration, we apply an adaptive wavefront correction of a laser beam profile. As a result, we demonstrate an increase in brightness of local SERS hot spots and redistribution of Raman signal over the substrate area. We hypothesize that the improvement is due to optimal coupling of the shaped laser beam to the random plasmonic nanoantenna configurations. We show that the proposed adaptive-SERS modification is independent of the exact structure of the surface roughness and topography, works with many rough surfaces, and gives brighter Raman hot spots in comparison with conventional SERS measurements. We prove that the adaptive SERS is a powerful instrument for improving SERS sensitivity.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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