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Appl Spectrosc. 2009 Jan;63(1):98-102. doi: 10.1366/000370209787169894.

Perchlorate detection at nanomolar concentrations by surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

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  • 1Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.


Perchlorate (ClO4-) has emerged as a widespread environmental contaminant and has been detected in various food products and even in human breast milk and urine. This research developed a sensing technique based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for rapid screening and monitoring of this contaminant in groundwater and surface water. The technique was found to be capable of detecting ClO4- at concentrations as low as 10(-9) M (or approximately 0.1 microg/L) by using 2-dimethylaminoethanethiol (DMAE) modified gold nanoparticles as a SERS substrate. Quantitative analysis of ClO4- was validated with good reproducibility by using both simulated and contaminated groundwater samples. When coupled with a portable Raman spectrometer, this technique has the potential to be used as an in situ, rapid screening tool for perchlorate in the environment.


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