In this work, we report a novel substrate for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) composed of silver nanoparticles protected by small nitrogen-doped Graphene Quantum Dots, i.e. Ag NPs-N-GQDs, synthesized under mild experimental conditions, which can preserve the SERS performance in normal indoor environment for up to 30 days. The field emission scanning electronic microscope (FESEM) images confirm that the N-GQDs play a significant role in the control of metallic nanoparticles morphology. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) result clearly indicates the N-GQDs was successfully immobilized on the surface of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs). Ag NPs-N-GQDs demonstrated Raman enhancement stronger than pure Ag NPs likely due to an increase in the number of the “hotspots” formed by coupled nanostructures. N-GQD protected Ag NPs were evaluated in SERS measurements of R6G when they were made fresh and have been stored in normal indoors condition for up to 30 days. Then Ag NPs-N-GQDs were used as a SERS substrate for glucose detection. The linearity range of glucose was found to be ranged from 1 μM to 1 M with a detection limit of 0.1 μM in glucose solutions. It was also applied successfully for glucose detection in rat blood samples. The present study demonstrates that the novel Ag NPs−N-GQDs nanostructure has great potential to be used as a cost effective sustained SERS substrate, which can be extremely useful in the wide adoption of SERS based sensors.
Jian Ju, Wei Liu, Keren Chen, Clint Michael Perlaki, Chunhua Feng, and Quan Liu, "Nitrogen doped graphene quantum dots effectively preserve the surface enhancement performance of silver nanoparticles (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10080, Plasmonics in Biology and Medicine XIV, 100800D (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 21 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250452.5382323817001.
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