Self-assembled nanocube-based plasmene nanosheets as soft surface-enhanced raman scattering substrates toward direct quantitative drug identification on surfaces

Kae Jye Si, Pengzhen Guo, Qianqian Shi, Wenlong Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


We report on self-assembled nanocube-based plasmene nanosheets as new surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates toward direct identification of a trace amount of drugs sitting on topologically complex real-world surfaces. The uniform nanocube arrays (superlattices) led to low spatial SERS signal variances ( 2 ). Unlike conventional SERS substrates which are based on rigid nanostructured metals, our plasmene nanosheets are mechanically soft and optically semitransparent, enabling conformal attachment to real-world solid surfaces such as banknotes for direct SERS identification of drugs. Our plasmene nanosheets were able to detect benzocaine overdose down to a parts-per-billion (ppb) level with an excellent linear relationship (R2 > 0.99) between characteristic peak intensity and concentration. On banknote surfaces, a detection limit of 0.9 ? 10-6 g/cm2 benzocaine could be achieved. Furthermore, a few other drugs could also be identified, even in their binary mixtures with our plasmene nanosheets. Our experimental results clearly show that our plasmene sheets represent a new class of unique SERS substrates, potentially serving as a versatile platform for real-world forensic drug identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5263 - 5269
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this