Polymer based nanocomposites containing metal nanoparticles (e.g. Au, Ag) have gained increased attention as a new class of SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering) substrates for analytical platforms. On the other hand, the application of SERS using such platforms can also provide new insights on the properties of composite materials. In this chapter, we review recent research on the development of SERS substrates based on polymer nanocomposites and their applications in different fields. The fundamentals of SERS are briefly approached and subsequently there is a reference to the strategies of preparation of polymer based nanocomposites. Here the main focus is on SERS studies that have used a diversity of polymer based nanocomposites, highlighting certain properties of the materials that are relevant for the envisaged functionalities. A final section is devoted to the joint use of Raman imaging and SERS in nanocomposites development, a topic that presents a great potential still to be explored as shown by the recent research in this field.
Part of the book: Raman Spectroscopy