5 years ago

Aluminum Nanocrystals: A Sustainable Substrate for Quantitative SERS-Based DNA Detection

Aluminum Nanocrystals: A Sustainable Substrate for Quantitative SERS-Based DNA Detection
Naomi J. Halas, Linan Zhou, Xiao Yang, Oara Neumann, Peter Nordlander, Michael J. McClain, Chao Zhang, Shu Tian
Since its discovery in the 1970s, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has been primarily associated with substrates composed of nanostructured noble metals. Here we investigate chemically synthesized nanocrystal aggregates of aluminum, an inexpensive, highly abundant, and sustainable metal, as SERS substrates. Al nanocrystal aggregates are capable of substantial near-infrared SERS enhancements, similar to Au nanoparticles. The intrinsic nanoscale surface oxide of Al nanocrystals supports molecule–substrate interactions that differ dramatically from noble metal substrates. The preferential affinity of the single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) phosphate backbone for the Al oxide surface preserves both the spectral features and nucleic acid cross sections relative to conventional Raman spectroscopy, enabling quantitative ssDNA detection and analysis.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02338

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02338

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