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The optimisation of facile substrates for surface enhanced Raman scattering through galvanic replacement of silver onto copper

Mabbott, Samuel and Larmour, Iain A. and Vishnyakov, Vladimir and Xu, Yun and Graham, Duncan and Goodacre, Royston (2012) The optimisation of facile substrates for surface enhanced Raman scattering through galvanic replacement of silver onto copper. Analyst, 137 (12). pp. 2791-2798. ISSN 0003-2654

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Abstract

A fast and cost-effective approach for the synthesis of substrates used in surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has been developed using galvanic displacement. Deposition of silver onto commercially available Cu foil has resulted in the formation of multiple hierarchical structures, whose morphology show dependence on deposition time and temperature. Analysis of the surface structure by scanning electron microscopy revealed that the more complex silver structures correlated well with increased deposition time and temperature. Using Rhodamine 6G (R6G) as a model Raman probe it was also possible to relate the substrate morphology directly with subsequent SERS intensity from the R6G analyte as well as the reproducibility across a total of 15 replicate Raman maps (20 x 20 pixels) consisting of 400 spectra at a R6G concentration of 10(-4) M. The substrate with the highest reproducibility was then used to explore the limit of detection and this compared very favourably with colloidal-based SERS assessments of the same analyte.