We show a new type of elastic surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) platform made of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) covered with a layer of indium tin oxide (ITO). This composite is subjected to dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) that develops the active surface of the PET/ITO foil. To enhance the Raman signal, a modified composite was covered with a thin layer of silver using the physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique. The SERS platform was used for measurements of para
-mercaptobenzoic acid (p
-MBA) and popular pesticides, i.e., Thiram and Carbaryl. The detection and identification of pesticides on the surface of fruits and vegetables is a crucial issue due to extensive use of those chemical substances for plant fungicide and insecticide protection. Therefore, the developed PET/ITO/Ag SERS platform was dedicated to quantitative analysis of selected pesticides, i.e., Thiram and Carbaryl from fruits. The presented SERS platform exhibits excellent enhancement and reproducibility of the Raman signal, which enables the trace analysis of these pesticides in the range up to their maximum residues limit. Based on the constructed calibration curves, the pesticide concentrations from the skin of apples was estimated as 2.5 µg/mL and 0.012 µg/mL for Thiram and Carbaryl, respectively. Additionally, the PET/ITO/Ag SERS platform satisfies other spectroscopic properties required for trace pesticide analysis e.g., ease, cost-effective method of preparation, and specially designed physical properties, especially flexibility and transparency, that broaden the sampling versatility to irregular surfaces.
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