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Highly Efficient Photoinduced Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (PIERS) from Plasmonic Nanoparticles Decorated 3D Semiconductor Arrays for Ultrasensitive, Portable, and Recyclable Detection of Organic Pollutants

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posted on 22.05.2019, 00:00 by Maofeng Zhang, Haoran Sun, Xin Chen, Jian Yang, Liang Shi, Tun Chen, Zhiyong Bao, Jiaqin Liu, Yucheng Wu
Semiconductor materials have become competitive candidates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates; however, their limited SERS sensitivity hinders the practical applications of semiconductors. Here, we develop a hybrid substrate by integrating anatase/rutile TiO2 heterostructure with dense plasmonic hotspots of Ag nanoparticle (AgNPs) for efficient photoinduced enhanced Raman spectroscopy (PIERS). The PIERS mechanism is systematically investigated by means of a portable Raman instrument. When ultraviolet (UV) light irradiates the substrate, the TiO2–Ag hybrid arrays produce remarkable charge-transfer enhancement, which can be ascribed to the highly efficient charge separation driven by heterojunction and transfer from TiO2 heterostructure to AgNPs. This platform allows for the rapid detection of multifold organic species, including malachite green (MG), crystal violet (CV), rhodamine 6G (R6G), thiram, and acephate, and as high as 27.8-fold enhancement over the normal SERS is achieved, representing the highest PIERS magnification up to the present time. The intensive PIERS enhancement makes it ultrasensitively detect analyte concentration of an order of magnitude lower than that of SERS method. The improved sensitivity and resolution can be readily realized by simple UV irradiation, which represents a major advantage of our PIERS methodology. Besides, the integration of uniform TiO2 heterostructure arrays with AgNPs generates superior signal reproducibility with relative standard deviation (RSD) value of less than 14%. In addition, the detected molecules on the substrate can be eliminated by photocatalytic degradation after PIERS measurements by using UV irradiation, which makes the substrate reusable for 15 cycles. The ultrahigh sensitivity, superior reproducibility, and excellent recyclability displayed by our platform may provide new opportunities in field detection analysis coupled with a portable Raman instrument.

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