In situ synthesis of graphene oxide/gold nanocomposites as ultrasensitive surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates for clenbuterol detection

  • Yu Sun
  • Hui ChenEmail author
  • Pei Ma
  • Junying Li
  • Zheng Zhang
  • Hao Shi
  • Xuedian ZhangEmail author
Research Paper


A highly sensitive approach to detect trace amount of clenbuterol (CB) based on graphene oxide/gold nanoparticles (GO/Au NPs) by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) was presented. To be specific, the GO/Au nanocomposites were formed by depositing Au NPs onto the surface of GO through an in situ reduction process, where a high density of inherent hot spots was created between Au NPs. By optimizing the depositing density of Au NPs, the strongest electromagnetic coupling effect originating from highly dense hot spots was obtained. The optimized GO/Au was demonstrated to enhance the Raman signals of CB by 4.8 times more than that of CB enhanced by Au NPs. Moreover, GO/Au nanocomposites exhibit good biocompatibility and accessible surface for high adsorption of target molecules through the pi-pi stacking with graphene oxide. Hence, the proposed GO/Au nanocomposites were utilized to capture aromatic molecules like CB and served as excellent sensitive SERS-active substrates for sensing of it, which exhibited an excellent linear performance in the range of 5 × 10−8 to 1 × 10−6 mol/L with a limit of detection (LOD) of 3.34 × 10−8 mol/L (S/N = 3). Due to high-density hot spots with easy operation, this proposed GO/Au nanocomposite–based SERS technique holds great potential in the application of food safety analysis and biomedical science.


Surface-enhanced Raman scattering Clenbuterol Graphene oxide Nanocomposite Trace detection 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (nos. 61805143), Shanghai Pujiang Program 18PJ1408700, National Key R&D Program of China 2017YFC0110200, and Shanghai Sailing Program 19YF1435400.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2019_2230_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (411 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 410 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Optical-Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Institute of Intelligent Science and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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