Date of Award

Winter 2014

Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Aroca, Ricardo F.


Pure sciences, Applied sciences, Raman spectroscopy, Silver nanoparticles, Shell-isolatednanoparticle-enhanced fluorescence, Gold nanoparticles, Plasmons




This thesis contains five major contributions to the field of plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy. We start with the report of a unique SERS study of the amino acid hydroxyproline and a deuterated analogue. Later, we move on to the exploration of a major new research path known as shell-isolated nanoparticle-enhanced fluorescence (SHINEF), consisting in the application of silica-shelled noble metal nanoparticles to achieve surface-enhanced fluorescence. The proof of concept of this technique is explained in one chapter. The two following chapters are devoted to the exploration of the plasmonic properties of SHINEF: spectral profile modification showing the close relationship between the observed enhanced fluorescence and the nanoparticle scattering. The SHIN particles are employed to experimentally prove the relationship between the SEF and SERS enhancement factors, theoretically predicted before, but never verified experimentally until now. The thesis ends with an investigation, in aqueous solutions, of several different factors that play a role in the origin of SEF, showing greater enhancement for SHINEF after inducing nanoparticle aggregation.