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Langmuir. 2018 Feb 27;34(8):2692-2698. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b03956. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanomembranes from Aromatic Self-Assembled Monolayers.

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Physics of Supramolecular Systems and Surfaces, Faculty of Physics, and ‡Biomolecular Photonics, Faculty of Physics, Bielefeld University , 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


Surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy (SERS) was employed to investigate the formation of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of biphenylthiol, 4'-nitro-1,1'-biphenyl-4-thiol, and p-terphenylthiol on Au surfaces and their structural transformations into carbon nanomembranes (CNMs) induced by electron irradiation. The high sensitivity of SERS allows us to identify two types of Raman scattering in electron-irradiated SAMs: (1) Raman-active sites exhibit similar bands as those of pristine SAMs in the fingerprint spectral region, but with indications of an amorphization process and (2) Raman-inactive sites show almost no Raman-scattering signals, except a very weak and broad D band, indicating a lack of structural order but for the presence of graphitic domains. Statistical analysis showed that the ratio of the number of Raman-active sites to the total number of measurement sites decreases exponentially with increasing the electron irradiation dose. The maximum degree of cross-linking ranged from 97 to 99% for the three SAMs. Proof-of-concept experiments were conducted to demonstrate potential applications of Raman-inactive CNMs as a supporting membrane for Raman analysis.

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