Raman scattering can be discriminated qualitatively because each material has a different spectrum.
However, the amount of light is very low, and expensive measurement equipment is required to measure it.
On the other hand, laser irradiation of microstructures, such as gold and aluminum, enhances Raman scattering, making it possible to detect single molecules.
This phenomenon is known as surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS).
It also eliminates the need for labeling of samples and enables quick and inexpensive measurements.
The combination of physical and chemical enhancement effects results in a 108-fold increase in the signal.
Physical enhancement effect: The signal is enhanced by the remarkable enhancement of the electric field between the microstructures.
Chemical enhancement effect: Vibration enhancement effect due to the charge transfer between the metal and the target molecule.
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