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Sarah Stranahan

About Me

The major focus of my current research is understanding noble metal nanoparticle-enhanced electromagnetic fields. Surface enhanced Raman scattering “hot spots” are regions of intense electromagnetic field enhancements between metallic nanoparticles that can increase Raman signal by eight orders of magnitude and possibly higher. Combining super-resolution imaging techniques with single molecule SERS allows us to “see” a single molecule diffuse in and out of SERS hot spots. The molecule’s path entering a hot spot appears to be directionally confined. The purpose of this research is to gain a greater understanding of this molecular-hot spot interaction that currently is not well understood. Some of the questions I am trying to answer are ‘what is the size of a silver colloidal aggregate’s hot spot?’ and ‘what are the diffusion properties of the molecule moving in and out of a hot spot?’