Surface-modified paper-based SERS substrates for direct-droplet quantitative determination of trace substances
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In this study, we developed a simple, inexpensive and easily fabricable paper-based SERS substrate with high sensitivity and reproducibility. The filter paper has natural pleats and small pores that allow the metal nanoparticles to be deposited and arranged on the paper to form large area SERS ‘active sites’. Silver nanoparticles can be embedded and grown on cellulose nanocrystals framework through the in situ reduction to form cellulose nanocrystal–silver (CNC–Ag) composites, which are coated on the filter paper to form composite paper-based substrates. The CNC–Ag composites further filled the pores on the surface of the filter paper and improved the adhesive rate of metal nanoparticles, thus the reproducibility of the SERS sensor has been improved. At the same time, because it has the agglomerating effect on samples, the hydrophobic dodecyl mercaptan covered on paper-based substrates can improve detection limit of analyte. Furthermore, we demonstrate that paper-based SERS substrates can efficiently detect two substances, including phenylethanolamine A and metronidazole. The limits of detection for phenylethanolamine A and metronidazole were found to as low as 5 × 10−9 M and 2 × 10−7 M, respectively. The paper-based SERS substrates offer great potential for label-free and on-site detection of trace substances.
KeywordsCellulose nanocrystal Paper-based SERS substrates Plasmonic nanocomposite Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) Trace substances
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 61575043, U1605253, 81741008), the Innovation Team Development Plan by the Ministry of Education of China (No. IRT15R10).
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