A probe for a surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectrometer includes a member of optically transmissive material for receiving the excitation radiation from a laser and for carrying the radiation emitted from a specimen to a detector. An end of the member for placing against the specimen has a coating that produces surface enhancement of the specimen during Raman scattering spectroscopic analysis. Specifically the coating is formed by a first layer of microparticles on the member and a metal layer over the first layer. The first layer may form a microstructure surface over which a metal layer is applied. Alternatively the coating may be a material containing microparticles of a metal. An optional layer of a material may be applied to the metal layer to concentrate onto the probe compounds of analytical interest onto the probe.
This invention was made with government support under contract DE-AC05-960R22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation, and the United States Government has certain rights in this invention.