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Nanoscale. 2012 Aug 21;4(16):5210-6. doi: 10.1039/c2nr31061a. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Silver-coated magnetite-carbon core-shell microspheres as substrate-enhanced SERS probes for detection of trace persistent organic pollutants.

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State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.


Highly active surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates of Ag nanoparticle (Ag-NP) modified Fe(3)O(4)@carbon core-shell microspheres were synthesized and characterized. The carbon coated Fe(3)O(4) microspheres were prepared via a one-pot solvothermal method and were served as the magnetic supporting substrates. The Ag-NPs were deposited by in situ reduction of AgNO(3) with butylamine and the thickness of the Ag-NP layer was variable by controlling the AgNO(3) concentrations. The structure and integrity of the Fe(3)O(4)@C@Ag composite microspheres were confirmed by TEM, XRD, VSM and UV-visible spectroscopy. In particular, the Ag-NP coated Fe(3)O(4)@carbon core-shell microspheres were shown to be highly active for SERS detections of pentachlorophenol (PCP), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and trinitrotoluene (TNT). These analytes are representatives of environmentally persistent organic pollutants with typically low SERS activities. The results suggested that the interactions between the carbon on the microsphere substrates and the aromatic cores of the target molecules contributed to the facile pre-concentration of the analytes near the Ag-NP surfaces.

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