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ACS Sens ; 4(11): 2988-2996, 2019 Nov 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31565921


Quantitative applications of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) often rely on surface partition layers grafted to SERS substrates to collect and trap-solvated analytes that would not otherwise adsorb onto metals. Such binding layers drastically broaden the scope of analytes that can be probed. However, excess binding sites introduced by this partition layer also trap analytes outside the plasmonic "hotspots". We show that by eliminating these binding sites, limits of detection (LODs) can effectively be lowered by more than an order of magnitude. We highlight the effectiveness of this approach by demonstrating quantitative detection of controlled drugs down to subnanomolar concentrations in aqueous media. Such LODs are low enough to screen, for example, urine at clinically relevant levels. These findings provide unique insights into the binding behavior of analytes, which are essential when designing high-performance SERS substrates.

Faraday Discuss ; 214: 455-463, 2019 05 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30865195


External-stimuli controlled reversible formation of radical species is of great interest for synthetic and supramolecular chemistry, molecular machinery, as well as emerging technologies ranging from (photo)catalysis and photovoltaics to nanomedicine. Here we show a novel hybrid colloidal system for light-driven reversible reduction of chemical species that, on their own, do not respond to light. This is achieved by the unique combination of photo-sensitive plasmonic aggregates and temperature-responsive inorganic species generating radicals that can be finally accepted and stabilised by non-photo-responsive organic molecules. In this system Au nanoparticles (NPs) self-assembled via sub-nm precise molecular spacers (cucurbit[n]urils) interact strongly with visible light to locally accelerate the decomposition of dithionite species (S2O42-) close to the NP interfaces. This light-driven process leads to the generation of inorganic radicals whose electrons can then be reversibly picked up by small organic acceptors, such as the methyl viologen molecules (MV2+) used here. During light-triggered plasmon- and heat-assisted generation of radicals, the S2O42- species work as a chemical 'fuel' linking photo-induced processes at the NP interfaces with redox chemistry in the surrounding water environment. By incorporating MV2+ as a Raman-active reporter molecule, the resulting optically-controlled redox processes can be followed in real-time.