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22 February 2013 Star-like gold nanoparticles as highly active substrate for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy
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Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is a popular method in bio-analytical chemistry and a potentially powerful enabling technology for in vitro diagnostics. SERS combines the excellent chemical specificity of Raman spectroscopy with the good sensitivity provided by enhancement of the signal that is observed when a molecule is located on (or very close to) the surface of nanostructured metallic materials. Star-like gold nanoparticles (SGN) are a new class of multibranched nanoparticles that in the last few years have attracted the attention of SERS community for their plasmonic properties. In this work we present a new method to prepare star-like gold nanoparticles with a simple one step protocol at room temperature using hydroquinone as reducing agent. Besides we compare the enhancement of Raman signal of malachite green, a dye commonly employed as label in biological studies, by star-like gold nanoparticles having different size, directly in liquid. This study shows that SGN provide good enhancement of Raman signal and that the effect of their dimension is strongly dependent on the wavelength used. Moreover preliminary results suggest that SGN produced using this method are characterized by good physical-chemical properties and they can be functionalized using the standard thiol chemistry. Overall, these results suggest that star-like gold nanoparticles produced through this method could be used for the further development of highly specific and sensitive SERS-based bio-analytical tests.
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Carlo Morasso, Dora Mehn, Renzo Vanna, Marzia Bedoni, César Pascual García, Davide Prosperi, and Furio Gramatica "Star-like gold nanoparticles as highly active substrate for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 8595, Colloidal Nanocrystals for Biomedical Applications VIII, 859507 (22 February 2013);

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