Unlike SERS the use of SHINERs (shell isolated nanoparticles for enhanced Raman spectroscopy3) (figure 1) is not restricted to precious metal surfaces. Adding a near-monolayer of SHINERS can enhance the Raman signal by ca. 108. The gold nanoparticle has a strong electromagnetic field which enhances the Raman signal, whilst the SiO2 shell inhibits any catalytic effect from the gold core. SHINERs can therefore enhance a variety of surfaces, such as carbon, which have been previously very challenging to analyse.
In situ studies with SHINERS without the presence of lithium have been able to track the reaction mechanism on planar, glassy carbon, gold, palladium and platinum surfaces, with the reduction and oxidation of free O2- observed. Further studies on glassy carbon in the presence of lithium have detected lithium superoxide (LiO2) and lithium peroxide (Li2O2) species in MeCN and DMSO electrolyte media’s. We are continuing to further develop this technique within non-aqueous electrolytes on a wider range electrode surfaces.