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Quantitative Label-Free and Real-Time Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Monitoring of Reaction Kinetics Using Self-Assembled Bifunctional Nanoparticle Arrays

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journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2015, 00:00 by Kun Zhang, Jingjing Zhao, Ji Ji, Yixin Li, Baohong Liu
Although surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has proven to be an effective tool for label-free monitoring of catalytic reactions, quantitative characterization of reaction kinetics via this technique remains challenging owing to the difficulty in integrating catalytic and plasmonic activities into a single platform. In this work, we report on an easy access to highly sensitive plasmonic nanoarrays for direct and label-free monitoring of a gold-catalyzed reaction by SERS. The hierarchically structured three-dimensional assemblies, which consist of small gold catalyst nanoparticles distributed on a self-assembled monolayer of larger gold nanoparticles, were formed through a simple and rapid stepwise interfacial self-assembling process (fabrication time <10 min). The well-defined interparticle distances (<1 nm) lead to efficient plasmonic coupling and ensure both catalytic and SERS-active sites exposed to the environment. Such a versatile bifunctional platform thus allows quantitative determination of the rate constant and activation energy of the catalytic reaction with SERS.