Mateusz Czerwiński, Ruben del Olmo Martinez and Marta Michalska-Domańska
The formation of nanostructured anodic titanium oxide (ATO) layers was explored on pure titanium by conventional anodizing under two different operating conditions to form nanotube and nanopore morphologies. The ATO layers were successfully developed and showed optimal structural integrity after the annealing process conducted in the air atmosphere at 450 °C. The ATO nanopore film was thinner (1.2 +/− 0.3 μm) than the ATO nanotube layer (3.3 +/− 0.6 μm). Differences in internal pore diameter were also noticeable, i.e., 88 +/− 9 nm and 64 +/− 7 nm for ATO nanopore and nanotube morphology, respectively. The silver deposition on ATO was successfully carried out on both ATO morphologies by silver electrodeposition and Ag colloid deposition. The most homogeneous silver deposit was prepared by Ag electrodeposition on the ATO nanopores. Therefore, these samples were selected as potential surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrate, and evaluation using pyridine (aq.) as a testing analyte was conducted. The results revealed that the most intense SERS signal was registered for nanopore ATO/Ag substrate obtained by electrodeposition of silver on ATO by 2.5 min at 1 V from 0.05M AgNO3 (aq.) (analytical enhancement factor, AEF ~5.3 × 104) and 0.025 M AgNO3 (aq.) (AEF ~2.7 × 102). The current findings reveal a low-complexity and inexpensive synthesis of efficient SERS substrates, which allows modification of the substrate morphology by selecting the parameters of the synthesis process.
Keywords: titanium anodization; anodic titanium oxide (ATO); silver nanoparticles; silver electrodeposition; colloidal silver deposition; surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)