This paper describes recent advances in chemical sensors and biosensors based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection. The SERS-active probes involve silver-coated microstructured substrates designed to amplify the Raman signals of adsorbed molecules and to detect trace chemicals in liquid as well as vapor samples. The development and application of several SERS devices such as a fiber-optic remote sensor and a vapor dosimeter are described. The results illustrate the different uses of the SERS method for the identification and quantification of important environmental and biological compounds. © 1995.