Review Paper

Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 205-216

First online:

Optofluidic SERS: synergizing photonics and microfluidics for chemical and biological analysis

  • Ian M. WhiteAffiliated withFischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland Email author 
  • , Soroush H. YazdiAffiliated withFischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland
  • , Wei W. YuAffiliated withFischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland

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Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) leverages the specificity of Raman scattering and the sensitivity provided by localized plasmonic effects for applications in chemical and biomolecular detection. However, nearly four decades after the first report of SERS, practical uses of the technique remain limited. Optofluidic SERS—the synergistic use of microfluidics to improve the performance of SERS—may finally lead to practical devices for chemical and biomolecular detection. In this review, we describe recent advances in optofluidic SERS microsystems that have been developed to improve the performance and applicability of SERS. These techniques include designs that improve the light–analyte interaction, that perform active or passive concentration of metal nanoparticles and/or analyte molecules, and that utilize microfluidic techniques to improve functionality. In addition, we present optofluidic SERS techniques that enable new applications that have not been possible before the advent of optofluidics. Finally, we project future advances in optofluidic SERS and present a vision for the disruptive technologies that will enable the translation of SERS from the research lab to practical uses.


Optofluidics Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy Chemical sensors Biosensors