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Sensitive and specific detection of explosives in solution and vapour by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy on silver nanocubes

Ben-Jaber, S; Peveler, WJ; Quesada-Cabrera, R; Sol, CWO; Papakonstantinou, I; Parkin, IP; (2017) Sensitive and specific detection of explosives in solution and vapour by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy on silver nanocubes. Nanoscale , 9 (42) pp. 16459-16466. 10.1039/c7nr05057g. Green open access

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Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has been widely utilised as a sensitive analytical technique for the detection of trace levels of organic molecules. The detection of organic compounds in the gas phase is particularly challenging due to the low concentration of adsorbed molecules on the surface of the SERS substrate. This is particularly the case for explosive materials, which typically have very low vapour pressures, limiting the use of SERS for their identification. In this work, silver nanocubes (AgNCs) were developed as a highly sensitive SERS substrate with very low limit-of-detection (LOD) for explosive materials down to the femtomolar (10(-15) M) range. Unlike typical gold-based nanostructures, the AgNCs were found suitable for the detection of both aromatic and aliphatic explosives, enabling detection with high specificity at low concentration. SERS studies were first carried out using a model analyte, Rhodamine-6G (Rh-6G), as a probe molecule. The SERS enhancement factor was estimated as 8.71 × 10(10) in this case. Further studies involved femtomolar concentrations of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) and nanomolar concentrations of 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), as well as vapour phase detection of DNT.

Type: Article
Title: Sensitive and specific detection of explosives in solution and vapour by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy on silver nanocubes
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1039/c7nr05057g
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7nr05057g
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > MAPS Faculty Office
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10028724
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