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Surface-modified paper-based SERS substrates for direct-droplet quantitative determination of trace substances

  • Li Xian
  • Ruiyun You
  • Dechan Lu
  • Changji Wu
  • Shangyuan Feng
  • Yudong LuEmail author
Original Research


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.


Cellulose 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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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Xian
    • 1
  • Ruiyun You
    • 1
  • Dechan Lu
    • 1
  • Changji Wu
    • 1
  • Shangyuan Feng
    • 2
  • Yudong Lu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Materials Science, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials Oriented Chemical Engineering, Fujian Key Laboratory of Polymer MaterialsFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Science and Technology for Medicine, Ministry of Education, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory for Photonics Technology, Digital Fujian Internet-of-Things Laboratory of Environment MonitoringFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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