Herein, we present progress towards an analytical sensor for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) on partition layer-modified nanostructured substrates. Specifically, a 1-decanethiol monolayer has been assembled on a silver film over nanospheres substrate to concentrate PAHs within the zone of SERS detection. Both anthracene and pyrene were detected with limits of detection at 300 and 700 pM, respectively. The measured SERS spectra allowed for easy distinction of the two PAH compounds, due to varying peak locations, and insight into the partitioning mechanism. Additionally, exposure to a common environmental interferant, Suwannee River fulvic acid, did not impede the measurement of the PAHs, and the sensor is reusable after a short exposure to 1-octanol. Finally, the utility of this sensing platform for PAH detection was compared to that achievable for other classes of organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
- Partition layer
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Surface-enhanced Raman scattering