Comparison of Plasma Jet embedded substrates with SERS substrates available on the market, e.g. SERSitive Substrates!

A helium gas atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) is used to prepare a silver-based SERS substrate. The Raman enhancement from substrates created using APPJ compares well with two commercially available silver-based SERS substrates and an in-house prepared physical deposition of pre-synthesised silver nanoparticles. An aqueous solution of rudimentary silver salt was required as an ink to deposit zero valent silver in a single step with no post processing. An array of 16 × 16 silver ‘islands’ are printed on borosilicate glass, each island taking 5 seconds to print with a power of < 14 W to sustain the plasma. The SERS response was assessed using 4-mercaptobenzoic acid and rhodamine 6G as model analytes, with a calculated detection limit of 1 × 10−6 M. Also demonstrated is the removal of analyte from the surface after Raman measurement by exposure to helium APPJ doped with oxygen followed by hydrogen to restore zero baseline. This regeneration takes less than 10 seconds and allows for replicate measurements using the same SERS substrate.

Keywords: SERS, Plasma Jet Deposition, SERS Substrates