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Interfacial Self-Assembled Functional Nanoparticle Array: A Facile Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Sensor for Specific Detection of Trace Analytes

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journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2014 by Kun Zhang, Ji Ji, Yixin Li, Baohong Liu
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has proven to be promising for the detection of trace analytes; however, the precise nanofabrication of a specific and sensitive plasmonic SERS-active substrate is still a major challenge that limits the scope of its applications. In this work, gold nanoparticles are self-assembled into densely packed two-dimensional arrays at a liquid/liquid interface between dimethyl carbonate and water in the absence of template controller molecules. Both the simulation and experiment results show that the particles within these film-like arrays exhibit strong electromagnetic coupling and enable large amplification of Raman signals. In order to realize the level of sensing specificity, the surface chemistry of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) is rationally tailored by incorporating an appropriate chemical moiety that specifically captures molecules of interest. The ease of fabrication and good uniformity make this platform ideal for in situ SERS sensing of trace targets in complex samples.