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Self-assembled nanoparticle arrays for multiphase trace analyte detection

Nature Materials volume 12, pages 165171 (2013) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Nanoplasmonic structures designed for trace analyte detection using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy typically require sophisticated nanofabrication techniques. An alternative to fabricating such substrates is to rely on self-assembly of nanoparticles into close-packed arrays at liquid/liquid or liquid/air interfaces. The density of the arrays can be controlled by modifying the nanoparticle functionality, pH of the solution and salt concentration. Importantly, these arrays are robust, self-healing, reproducible and extremely easy to handle. Here, we report on the use of such platforms formed by Au nanoparticles for the detection of multi-analytes from the aqueous, organic or air phases. The interfacial area of the Au array in our system is ≈25 mm2 and can be made smaller, making this platform ideal for small-volume samples, low concentrations and trace analytes. Importantly, the ease of assembly and rapid detection make this platform ideal for in-the-field sample testing of toxins, explosives, narcotics or other hazardous chemicals.

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Change history

  • 27 November 2012

    In the version of this Article originally published online, in Fig. 1a, the second item in the legend should have read 'MGITC in organic phase'. In Fig. 1b, the fourth item in the legend should have read 'Organic phase'. These errors have been corrected in all versions of the Article.

  • 19 December 2012

    In the version of this Article originally published online, in Fig. 1b panel vi, the units on the bottom two curves (red and yellow) should have read 'fmol'. These errors have been corrected in all versions of the Article.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to A. Kucernak (Imperial College), M. Urbakh (University of Tel Aviv) and S. Goodchild (DSTL) for illuminating discussions and inspiration. A.A.K. and J.B.E. thank the DSTL for financial support of this project. This work was also financially supported in part by an ERC starting investigator grant to J.B.E. and an EU FP7 ‘Nanodetector’ grant (NMP4-SE-2012-280478) to A.A.K.

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  1. Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK

    • Michael P. Cecchini
    • , Vladimir A. Turek
    • , Jack Paget
    • , Alexei A. Kornyshev
    •  & Joshua B. Edel

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Contributions

M.P.C., V.A.T., J.P., A.A.K. and J.B.E. designed the experiments, wrote the paper and analysed the results. M.P.C., V.A.T. and J.B.E. performed the experiments.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Michael P. Cecchini or Vladimir A. Turek or Alexei A. Kornyshev or Joshua B. Edel.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3488

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