As a first step toward development of this system four colloidal nanoparticles, spherical gold, silver cubes, silica-gold nanoshells, and silver-gold nanocages have been analyzed for use in the POC system. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images have been taken of each nanoparticle to visualize the morphology of the nanoparticles, which is vital for SERS. Ultraviolet-visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy was also collected to verify the extinction spectra for each nanoparticle was in resonance with the excitation wavelength. The nanoparticles were functionalized with mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA), a Raman reporter molecule, and SERS spectra were collected to determine which has better utility in a novel micro-to-nanochannel. The data showed that the silver nanocubes have a larger enhancement factor than the gold nanospheres, nanoshells, or nanocages. Currently, these nanocubes are being functionalized with the citulline for assessing the concentration sensitivity and dynamic range for ultimate use as a marker for radiation.
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