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Assessment of silver and gold substrates for the detection of amphetamine sulfate by surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)

Faulds, K. and Smith, W.E. and Graham, D. and Lacey, R.J. (2002) Assessment of silver and gold substrates for the detection of amphetamine sulfate by surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Analyst, 127 (2). pp. 282-286. ISSN 0003-2654

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Methods of detection of amphetamine sulfate using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from colloidal suspensions and vapour deposited films of both silver and gold are compared. Different aggregating agents are required to produce effective SERS from silver and gold colloidal suspensions. Gold colloid and vapour deposited gold films give weaker scattering than the equivalent silver substrates when high concentrations of drug are analysed but they also give lower detection limits, suggesting a smaller surface enhancement but stronger surface adsorption. A 10(-5) mol dm(-3) solution (the final concentration after addition of colloid was 10(-6) mol dm(-3)) of amphetamine sulfate was detected from gold colloid with an RSD of 5.4%. 25 mul of the same solution could be detected on a roughened gold film. The intensities of the spectra varied across the film surface resulting in relatively high RSDs. The precision was improved by averaging the scattering from several points on the surface. An attempt to improve the detection limit and precision by concentrating a suspension of gold colloid and amphetamine sulfate in aluminium wells did not give effective quantitation. Thus, positive identification and semi-quantitative estimation of amphetamine sulfate can be made quickly and easily using SERS from suspended gold colloid with the appropriate aggregating agents.