Ultrafast surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has the potential to study molecular dynamics near plasmonic surfaces to better understand plasmon-mediated chemical reactions such as plasmonically-enhanced photocatalytic or photovoltaic processes. This review discusses the combination of ultrafast Raman spectroscopic techniques with plasmonic substrates for high temporal resolution, high sensitivity, and high spatial resolution vibrational spectroscopy. First, we introduce background information relevant to ultrafast SERS: the mechanisms of surface enhancement in Raman scattering, the characterization of plasmonic materials with ultrafast techniques, and early complementary techniques to study molecule-plasmon interactions. We then discuss recent advances in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopies with ultrafast pulses with a focus on the study of molecule-plasmon coupling and molecular dynamics with high sensitivity. We also highlight the challenges faced by this field by the potential damage caused by concentrated, highly energetic pulsed fields in plasmonic hotspots, and finally the potential for future ultrafast SERS studies.
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