Chemically stable Au nanorods as probes for sensitive surface enhanced scattering (SERS) analysis of blue BIC ballpoint pens

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Alyami, Abeer
Saviello, Daniela
McAuliffe, Michael A. P.
Cucciniello, Raffaele
Mirabile, Antonio
Proto, Antonio
Lewis, Liam
Iacopino, Daniela
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Au nanorods were used as an alternative to commonly used Ag nanoparticles as Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) probes for identification of dye composition of blue BIC ballpoint pens. When used in combination with Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), Au nanorod colloids allowed identification of the major dye components of the BIC pen ink, otherwise not identifiable by normal Raman spectroscopy. Thanks to their enhanced chemical stability compared to Ag colloids, Au nanorods provided stable and reproducible SERS signals and allowed easy identification of phthalocyanine and triarylene dyes in the pen ink mixture. These findings were supported by FTIR and MALDI analyses, also performed on the pen ink. Furthermore, the self-assembly of Au nanorods into large area ordered superstructures allowed identification of BIC pen traces. SERS spectra of good intensity and high reproducibility were obtained using Au nanorod vertical arrays, due to the high density of hot spots and morphological reproducibility of these superstructures. These results open the way to the employment of SERS for fast screening analysis and for quantitative analysis of pens and faded pens which are relevant for the fields of forensic and art conservation sciences.
Nanoparticles , Raman spectroscopy , Nanorods , Careers and professions , Tectonophysics , Thin-layer chromatography
Alyami, A., Saviello, D., McAuliffe, M. A. P., Cucciniello, R., Mirabile, A., Proto, A., Lewis, L. and Iacopino, D. (2017) 'Chemically stable Au nanorods as probes for sensitive surface enhanced scattering (SERS) analysis of blue BIC ballpoint pens', NanoInnovation 2016, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1873(1), 020003 (9 pp). doi: 10.1063/1.4997132
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