3D Printed SERS-Active Thin-Film Substrates Used to Quantify Levels of the Genotoxic Isothiazolinone. Academic Article uri icon


  • Several reports present methods to fabricate thin-film substrates capable of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Substrates synthesized by displacing silver onto copper using facile synthesis methods such as galvanic displacement can generate high levels of SERS enhancement rivaling commercially available substrates manufactured by lithographic methods. Here, we describe the optimization of a novel set of SERS-active thin-film substrates synthesized via the electroless displacement of Ag onto the surface of three-dimensional (3D) printed disks composed of the copper/polymer (PLA) composite filament. The effect of AgNO3 concentration on the deposition, morphology, and overall SERS activity of the substrates has been carefully studied. Two commonly used Raman reporters, 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA) and malachite green isothiocyanate (MGITC), were used to measure the SERS output of the substrates. Good SERS signal reproducibility (RSD 16.8%) was measured across the surface of replicate substrates and high-sensitivity detection of MBA was achieved (10-12 M). To test the real-world application of our substrates, we opted to detect 5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (CMIT), which is a genotoxic, biocide common in many household products, known to leach into water supplies. Our newly developed SERS-active substrates could detect CMIT down to 10 ppm when spiked in simulated lake water samples, which is well within current agency standards.

published proceedings

  • ACS Omega

author list (cited authors)

  • Jaitpal, S., Chavva, S. R., & Mabbott, S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Jaitpal, Siddhant||Chavva, Suhash Reddy||Mabbott, Samuel

publication date

  • January 2022