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Selective Detection of Nitroexplosives Using Molecular Recognition within Self-Assembled Plasmonic Nanojunctions

Chio, WIK; Peveler, WJ; Assaf, KI; Moorthy, S; Nau, WM; Parkin, IP; Olivo, M; (2019) Selective Detection of Nitroexplosives Using Molecular Recognition within Self-Assembled Plasmonic Nanojunctions. Journal of Physical Chemistry C , 123 (25) pp. 15769-15776. 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b02363. Green open access

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Abstract

We demonstrate that the reproducibility of sensors for nitroaromatics based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can be significantly improved via a hierarchical aqueous self-assembly approach mediated by the multifunctional macrocyclic molecule cucurbit[7]uril (CB[7]). Our approach is enabled by the novel host–guest complexation between CB[7] and an explosive marker 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT). Binding studies are performed using experimental and computation techniques to quantify key binding parameters for the first time. This supramolecular complexation allows DNT to be positioned in close proximity to the plasmonic hotspots within aggregates of CB[7] and gold nanoparticles, resulting in significant SERS signals with a detection limit of ∼1 μM. The supramolecular ensemble is selective against a structurally similar nitroaromatics owing to the molecular-recognition nature of the complexation as well as tolerant against the presence of model organic contaminants that bind strongly to the SERS substrates.

Type: Article
Title: Selective Detection of Nitroexplosives Using Molecular Recognition within Self-Assembled Plasmonic Nanojunctions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b02363
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b02363
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
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 > MAPS Faculty Office
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > MAPS Faculty Office > Institute for Materials Discovery
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075624
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