Paper-Based Sensors for Contaminant Detection Using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
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Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is highly promising analytical technique for trace detection of analytes. It is particularly well suited for environmental analyses due to its high sensitivity, specificity, ease of operation and rapidity. The detection and characterization of environmental contaminants, using SERS is highly related to the uniformity, activity and reproducibility of the SERS substrate. In this thesis, SERS substrates were produced by gold nanoparticle formation on wax patterned chromatography paper. In situ reduction of hydrogen tetrachloroaurate (gold precursor) by trisodium citrate dihydrate (reducing agent) was used to produce gold nanoparticles within a paper matrix. These gold nanoparticle based SERS substrates were analyzed by FE-SEM, UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopy. This work discusses the SERS signal enhancements for Raman active MGITC dye for a series of substrates prepared by in situ reduction of gold salt and pre-produced gold nanoparticles. UV-Vis analysis was performed to understand the effect of different molar ratio (reducing agent to gold precursor) and reaction time on the size and shape of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) band that dictates the SERS enhancements. It was concluded that lower molar ratio (1:1 and 2:1) of citrate-to gold produced better SERS signal enhancements and broader LSPR band. Therefore, use of lower molar ratio (MR) was recommended for paper-based substrates using in situ-based reduction approach.
- Masters Theses