Low-adhesive superhydrophobic surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy substrate fabricated by femtosecond laser ablation for ultratrace molecular detection

Andong Wang, Lan Jiang, Xiaowei Li, Qian Xie, Bohong Li, Zhi Wang, Kun Du, Yongfeng Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Ultratrace molecular detections from a limited amount of highly diluted solutions can offer unprecedented benefits in the biomedical/analytical fields, such as in precancer diagnosis, forensic analysis, and food safety. However, huge difficulties exist in completely concentrating the target molecules within a sensitive area and thereby enhancing the detection sensitivity. Herein, we report the ultratrace molecular detection using a low-adhesive superhydrophobic surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (LAS-SERS) substrate fabricated by femtosecond laser ablation. The LAS-SERS substrate has good characteristics, including a contact angle as high as 154°, a contact angle hysteresis below 5°, and a simulated Raman signal enhancement factor of up to 6 × 106. Compared to the previously developed superhydrophobic SERS (S-SERS) methods, the low-adhesive nature of the LAS-SERS method can greatly reduce the final contact area, thus significantly enhancing the detection limit. In our experiments, the final contact area of the LAS-SERS substrate was reduced by 19.5 times, corresponding to an 88.1 times increase in the concentration effect, as compared to the highly adhesive S-SERS substrates fabricated using the same technique. The enhanced condensation effect led to a detection limit as low as 10−14 M, which shows an obvious improvement compared to that of the other non-photolithography methods. The method reported herein offers a facile and efficient approach to the cost-effective fabrication of a high-performance LAS-SERS substrate for ultratrace molecular detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-784
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)

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