Gold decorated graphene-based nano-hybrids find extensive research interest due to their enhanced chemical catalytic performance and biochemical sensing. The unique physicochemical properties and the very large surface area makes them propitious platform for the rapid buildouts of science and technology. Graphene serves as an outstanding matrix for anchoring numerous nanomaterials because of its atomically thin 2D morphological features. Herein, we have designed a metal-graphene nano-hybrid through pulsed laser ablation. Commercially available graphite powder was employed for the preparation of graphene oxide (GO) using modified Hummers’ method. A solid, thin gold (Au) foil was ablated in an aqueous suspension of GO using second harmonic wavelength (532 nm) of the Nd:YAG laser for immediate generation of the Au-GO nano-hybrid. The synthesis strategy employed here does not entail any detrimental chemical reagents and hence avoids the inclusion of reagent byproducts to the reaction mixture, toxicity, and environmental or chemical contamination. Optical and morphological characterizations were performed to substantiate the successful anchoring of Au nanoparticles (Au NPs) on the GO sheets. Remarkably, these photon-generated nano-hybrids can act as an excellent surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) platform for the sensing/detection of the 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4-MBA) with a very low detection limit of 1 × 10−12
M and preserves better reproducibility also. In addition, these hybrid materials were found to act as an effective catalyst for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP). Thus, this is a rapid, mild, efficient and green synthesis approach for the fabrication of active organometallic sensors and catalysts.
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