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Materials 2017, 10(12), 1351;

3D ZnO/Ag Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering on Disposable and Flexible Cardboard Platforms

i3N/CENIMAT, Department of Materials Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this article.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SERS-Active Substrates)
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In the present study, zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorods (NRs) with a hexagonal structure have been synthesized via a hydrothermal method assisted by microwave radiation, using specialized cardboard materials as substrates. Cardboard-type substrates are cost-efficient and robust paper-based platforms that can be integrated into several opto-electronic applications for medical diagnostics, analysis and/or quality control devices. This class of substrates also enables highly-sensitive Raman molecular detection, amiable to several different operational environments and target surfaces. The structural characterization of the ZnO NR arrays has been carried out by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical measurements. The effects of the synthesis time (5–30 min) and temperature (70–130 °C) of the ZnO NR arrays decorated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been investigated in view of their application for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) molecular detection. The size and density of the ZnO NRs, as well as those of the AgNPs, are shown to play a central role in the final SERS response. A Raman enhancement factor of 7 × 105 was obtained using rhodamine 6 G (R6G) as the test analyte; a ZnO NR array was produced for only 5 min at 70 °C. This condition presents higher ZnO NR and AgNP densities, thereby increasing the total number of plasmonic “hot-spots”, their volume coverage and the number of analyte molecules that are subject to enhanced sensing. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO nanorods; Ag nanoparticles; microwave synthesis; cardboard substrates; SERS ZnO nanorods; Ag nanoparticles; microwave synthesis; cardboard substrates; SERS

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Pimentel, A.; Araújo, A.; Coelho, B.J.; Nunes, D.; Oliveira, M.J.; Mendes, M.J.; Águas, H.; Martins, R.; Fortunato, E. 3D ZnO/Ag Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering on Disposable and Flexible Cardboard Platforms. Materials 2017, 10, 1351.

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