Transparent polymer-based SERS substrates templated by a soda can

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Creedon, Niamh
Lovera, Pierre
Furey, Ambrose
O'Riordan, Alan
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Elsevier B.V.
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This paper demonstrates the reproducible fabrication of transparent Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) substrates, fabricated by employing an aluminium soda can to template nanostructures on a flexible thermoplastic polymer surface, followed by deposition of a silver over layer. Electron microscopy and finite element modelling simulations strongly suggested the SERS response arose at regions of high electromagnetic field strength occurring between metallic clusters following illumination by monochromatic radiation. The sensors exhibited rapid, quantitative and high sensitivity, for example, 5 × 10−10 M (204 pg/mL) crystal violet detection in 10 min using a simple drop and dry method. We also show detection of glucose employing a chemically modified silver surface bearing a pre-deposited SAM layer. Furthermore, the transparent substrates permitted back excitation and collection through the substrate with corresponding spectra exhibiting clear and well-defined spectral SERS peaks. Finally, we present the detection of trace amounts of melamine in complex media solution (milk and infant formula). We benchmark the sensor performance using commercial analytical instrumentation (MS-MS) and show comparable sensitivity between the SERS substrates and MS-MS.
Nanostructures , Surface enhanced raman scattering , Melamine , Mass spectroscopy , Metal deposition , Templating
Creedon, N. C., Lovera, P., Furey, A. and O’Riordan, A. (2018) 'Transparent polymer-based SERS substrates templated by a soda can', Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 259, pp. 64-74. doi: