Bilayer composites consisting of gold nanorods and titanium dioxide as highly sensitive and self-cleaning SERS substrates

Yanru Bu, Kang Liu, Yaoxin Hu, Yusuf Val. Kaneti, Arnaud Brioude, Xuchuan Jiang, Huanting Wang, Aibing Yu

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The authors describe a novel recyclable substrate for highly sensitive surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) studies. It consists of gold nanorods (AuNRs) self-assembled on a TiO2 film and combines the high SERS enhancement of assembled AuNRs with the self-cleaning property of the TiO2 film. It overcomes limitations of conventional SERS substrates such as limited sensitivity, high costs, and poor recyclability. The packing density of the AuNRs on the TiO2 film can be well adjusted, and therefore the SERS enhancement factor of the substrates can be tuned. For the optimized substrate, the SERS enhancement factor is as high as 5.4 × 1010 (Raman laser at 782 nm with 10% of 1.15 mW). This indicates extremely high sensitivity and is promising in terms of single molecule detection. Raman mapping experiments showed the SERS signal to be homogeneously distributed over the whole surface, with a maximal deviation of 3.5%. The SERS activity of this substrate can be restored by degradation of the probe molecules through TiO2 photocatalysis under UV irradiation. In our perception, these findings open a new venue for developing ultra-sensitive and recyclable SERS substrates. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2805-2813
Number of pages9
JournalMicrochimica Acta
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Gold surface modification
  • Raman scattering
  • Recycling
  • Self-assembly
  • Sensitive detection
  • Surface plasmon resonance
  • UV-irradiation

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