SBIR Phase I: NanoSilver-Silicon Based Substrates for Chemical Sensing by Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a novel substrate for sensing of biomolecules by Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The substrate is expected to be stable, low cost , reproducible and can be functionalized to improve selectivity. Sensing of biomolecules and other chemicals has become increasingly important for point-of-care diagnostics in medical applications, controlling and monitoring environmental pollution, as well in improved detection of chemical warfare agents and explosives in homeland security applications. SERS is a vibrational spectroscopy and can provide chemical-fingerprint like information that is highly specific. This enables detection of many different species and also permits detection of multiple species in a single measurement. The lack of high quality, stable, low cost substrates, reproducibility of the enhancement and selectivity are all challenges that need to be overcome before commercialization can be sucessful. The type of structure developed in this project where SERS active nanoparticles are dispersed on the surface of a high surface area support is unique and can provide fundamental insights into SERS mechanisms as well as yield a substrate that can enable the development of commercial SERS based sensors and sensing mechanisms for a range of applications. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that it has the potential to be a be a key enabler for commercial sensors or platforms based on Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). Development of chemical sensors is critical for industrial, medical and homeland security applications. A rapidly aging population, increased spending in the healthcare sector, increasing demand for point-of-care testing & monitoring solutions, shift towards alternate sites of healthcare, and increased occurrences of a number of chronic diseases drive the requirements for innovation in sensors. SERS is an emerging technique for optical sensors that has been shown to have a wide range of sensing capabilities, for example, The SERS based sensors currently under development have impact on homeland security and medical diagnostics applications and thus the technology proposed here can have a broad impact on these areas.
Small Business Information at Submission:
LoTEC, Inc. (dba Vesta Sciences, Inc.)
6355 Nancy Ridge Road San Diego, CA 92121-2247
Number of Employees: