Sam Houston State University

Undergraduate Research
Summer 2011

Building an Imaging System for Sensor Characterization
Thomas Miller
Sam Houston State University


This summer Thomas assembled an imaging system for characterizing SERS sensing surfaces prepared for detecting cyanide and the cyanide metabolite ATCA. The imaging system incorporates a home built microscope along with the capability to obtain metallographic, diffractive, and transmission images. The transmission images will be used to measure the absorbance, for each pixel, of the packed spheres. The metallographic method employs a beam splitter to get front illumination of the sample slide. This will be used characterizing for gold and silver film over nanosphere (FON) sensing surfaces and mesoporous thin film sensing interfaces. The sphere packing was done by Antonio Carillo and Asish Parbatani, while Emily Totman worked with laying the mesoporous thin films. The diffractive method involves shining the light on the sample, at an angle, to see what wavelengths of light are diffracted by the spheres into the camera. Thomas was able to successfully set up protocols for obtaining magnified metallographic, transmission, and diffractive images of sphere masks and sensing surfaces.

Thomas aligning a homemade microscope