Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has lagged behind other analytical techniques utilized in routine chemical analyses despite the information-rich spectra produced. This can be attributed in part to the difficulties in finding effective substrates that provide high sensitivity
and highly reproducible SERS responses. Herein, we have developed a silver-coated polypropylene filter (AgPPF) as a highly sensitive and promising SERS substrate for the detection of environmentally significant chemicals, including selected pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and possible
endocrine disruptors. The present approach involves preconcentration studies of selected environmental compounds with 3M's High Performance Extraction Disc Cartridges (HPEDCs) and characterization of the same HPEDC filters as a SERS substrate. The polypropylene microfiber prefilter that encloses
the empore extraction medium is modified by physical vapor deposition with silver and used as the SERS substrate. The HPEDC itself is used to concentrate analytes into a desired concentration range, achieving maximum sensitivity. Surface roughness and nanoscale structure of silver films on
the microfiber were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The mass thickness of the silver and volume were optimized for the highest SERS signal using rhodamine 6G as a model compound. A novel component of our HPEDC studies involves the hyphenation of the concentration protocol and
SERS. The hyphenation of sample concentration and SERS allows more sensitive surface-enhanced detection. Mitoxanthrone dihydrochloride, crystal violet dye, 4-aminobenzoic acid, and rhodamine 6G were employed to study the sensitive SERS detection and were observed as low as 5 × 10−8
M to 1 × 10−10 M without any preconcentration step. Additionally, SERS signatures of some flavonoids, targeted as possible Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals by the US Environmental Protection Agency, such as Apigenin and Daidzein, are reported along with their sensitive
detection down to ng/mL for the first time with preconcentration.
The University of Tennessee, Department of Chemistry, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
Publication date: May 1, 2009
More about this publication?
The Society publishes the internationally recognized, peer reviewed journal, Applied Spectroscopy, which is available both in print and online. Subscriptions are included with membership or can be purchased by institutional or corporate organizations. Abstracts may be viewed free of charge. Previously published as Bulletin (Society for Applied Spectroscopy)