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Windowless detection geometry for sum frequency scattering spectroscopy in the C-D and amide i regions

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Understanding the structure and chemistry of nanoscopic surfaces is an important challenge for biointerface sciences. Sum frequency scattering (SFS) spectroscopy can specifically probe the surfaces of nanoparticles, vesicles, liposomes, and other materials relevant to biomaterial research, and, as a vibrational spectroscopy method, it can provide molecular level information about the surface chemistry. SFS is particularly promising to probe the structure of proteins, and other biological molecules, at nanoparticle surfaces. Here, amide I spectra can provide information about protein folding and orientation, while spectra in the C-D and C-H stretching regions allow experiments to determine the mode of interaction between particle surfaces and proteins. Methods used currently employ a closed liquid cell or cuvette, which works extremely well for C-H and phosphate regions but is often impeded in the amide I and C-D regions by a strong background signal that originates from the window material of the sample cells. Here, we discuss a windowless geometry for collecting background-free and high-fidelity SFS spectra in the amide I and C-D regions. We demonstrate the improvement in spectra quality by comparing SFS spectra of unextruded, multilamellar vesicles in a sample cuvette with those recorded using the windowless geometry. The sample geometry we propose will enable new experiments using SFS as a probe for protein-particle interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011201
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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