Repository logo

Optimization of Nanosubstrates toward Molecularly Surface-Functionalized Raman Spectroscopy.

Published version



Change log


De Carvalho Gomes, Paulo 
Hardy, Mike 
Tagger, Yazmin 
Rickard, Jonathan James Stanley 


Diagnostic advancements require continuous developments of reliable analytical sensors, which can simultaneously fulfill many criteria, including high sensitivity and specificity for a broad range of target analytes. Incorporating the highly sensitive attributes of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) combined with highly specific analyte recognition capabilities via molecular surface functionalization could address major challenges in molecular diagnostics and analytical spectroscopy fields. Herein, we have established a controllable molecular surface functionalization process for a series of textured gold surfaces. To create the molecularly surface-functionalized SERS platforms, self-assembled benzyl-terminated and benzoboroxole-terminated monolayers were used to compare which thicknesses and root-mean-square (RMS) roughness of planar gold produced the most sensitive and specific surfaces. Optimal functionalization was identified at 80 ± 8 nm thickness and 7.2 ± 1.0 nm RMS. These exhibited a considerably higher SERS signal (70-fold) and improved sensitivity for polysaccharides when analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and self-organizing maps (SOM). These findings lay the procedure for establishing the optimal substrate specifications as an essential prerequisite for future studies aiming at developing the feasibility of molecular imprinting for SERS diagnostic applications and the subsequent delivery of advanced, highly selective, and sensitive sensing devices and analytical platforms.



40 Engineering, 34 Chemical Sciences, 4018 Nanotechnology, 4.1 Discovery and preclinical testing of markers and technologies, 4 Detection, screening and diagnosis

Journal Title

J Phys Chem C Nanomater Interfaces

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


American Chemical Society (ACS)
European Research Council (614787)