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Synthesis of silver particles on copper substrates using ethanol-based solution for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
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The displacement reaction of AgNO3 and copper metal is an effective and economical way to fabricate Ag-Cu surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates. Aqueous solutions of AgNO3 are usually used for substrate preparation. In this work, a new method for Ag-Cu SERS substrate preparation is proposed, which uses an ethanol solution rather than an aqueous AgNO3 solution. Analysis of the surface morphologies of sample substrates by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) showed that the silver nanoparticles prepared by this new method were more regular than those prepared in the traditional aqueous solution. The SERS spectra of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) adsorbed on these Ag-Cu substrates were then investigated and compared. It was found that the Ag-Cu substrates prepared by this method provide significant improvements in Raman signal sensitivity and large-area uniformity. The enhancement factor of this new substrate is about 330 times higher than that prepared using an aqueous AgNO3 solution under identical experimental conditions. It was also found that 70% of the original sensitivity of the substrate remains after 15 days of exposure to air.
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