Polyacrylic acid sodium salt film entrapped Ag-nanocubes as molecule traps for SERS detection
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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a fast analytical technique for trace chemicals; however, it requires the active SERS-substrates to adsorb analytes, thus limiting target species to those with the desired affinity for substrates. Here we present networked polyacrylic acid sodium salt (PAAS) film entrapped Ag-nanocubes (denoted as Ag-nanocubes@PAAS) as an effective SERS-substrate for analytes with and without high affinity. Once the analyte aqueous solution is cast on the dry Ag-nanocubes@PAAS substrate, the bibulous PAAS becomes swollen forcing the Ag-nanocubes loose, while the analytes diffuse in the interstices among the Ag-nanocubes. When dried, the PAAS shrinks and pulls the Ag-nanocubes back to their previous aggregated state, while the PAAS network “detains” the analytes in the small gaps between the Ag-nanocubes for SERS detection. The strategy has been proven effective for not only singleanalytes but also multi-analytes without strong affinity for Ag, showing its potential in SERS-based simultaneous multi-analyte detection of both adsorbable and non-adsorbable pollutants in the environment.
KeywordsSERS Ag-nanocube polyacrylic acid sodium salt trace detection
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