In situ SERS study of Rhodamine 6G adsorbed on individually immobilized Ag nanoparticles
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We report a study on polymer-mediated immobilization of non-aggregated Ag nanoparticles on planar glass substrates and the resultant surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity using Rhodamine 6G (R6G) as a model molecule. Ag colloidal solution with an average particle diameter of 70 nm was prepared by citrate reduction of AgNO3 using the Lee-Meisel method, and subsequent fractionation by filtration. A self-assembled polyallylamine hydrochloride (PAH) monolayer was employed as the intermediate polymer layer. We have shown that the coverage density of Ag nanoparticles on the glass substrates correlates with the amount of adsorbed PAH. This parameter can be easily controlled by varying the pH and ionic strength during polymer deposition. The highest coverage density was obtained for the polymer deposition from buffer solutions at pH 9.0, which additionally contained 0.25 M NaCl. The SERS-active substrates were robust and stable in 0.5 M NaCl solutions, as well as under extreme acidic and basic conditions. The glass substrates with immobilized non-aggregated Ag nanoparticles exhibited SERS enhancement and provided in situ detection sensitivity of R6G at 5 ppt level, with estimated surface coverage of two to four R6G molecules per silver particle. We found that adsorption of R6G in the presence of N-(2-hydroxyethyl)piperazine-N′-(2- ethanesulfonic acid) (HEPES) buffer resulted in complete inhibition of photodecomposition of adsorbed R6G molecules. Studies of the effect of sodium chloride on the SERS activity of the glass substrates with individually attached nanoparticles showed that chloride anions resulted in a two to threefold increase in SERS intensity. Our approach has enabled the isolation of chloride-activated SERS enhancement from contributions arising from nanoparticle aggregation. The observed SERS enhancement in salt solutions results from coadsorption of chloride ions by the silver surface, and manifests itself in changing of orientation of adsorbed R6G molecules. The observed enhancement was reversed by exposing the substrate to 514-nm laser radiation, which resulted in the cleavage of Ag-Cl bonds. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
author list (cited authors)
Pristinski, D., Tan, S., Erol, M., Du, H., & Sukhishvili, S.