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Development of novel substrates and sampling techniques for the analysis of drugs and model environmental pollutants via Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

by 1970- Jesu?s, Marco Antonio

Abstract (Summary)
Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) has shown promise for the analysis of environmental and pharmaceutically relevant compounds due to its tremendous enhancement of Raman signals and the large amount of structural information provided by the technique. Despite these advantages, SERS has not been established as a routine analytical tool due to limitations in the analytical figures of merit such as reproducibility and linear dynamic range. This is due in part to the fact that the continuous irradiation of the laser beam over the SERS substrate can promote the rapid decomposition of sample analytes which significantly broaden and diminish the intensities of observed spectral bands. Further irradiation can promote thermal or photolytic fragmentation of analytes, thereby altering the observable bands and possibly leading to a misinterpretation of analytical data. The primary goals in this project are to develop new substrates and sampling techniques to overcome the above mentioned problems. The initial part of this work presents the use of a Sample Translation Technique (STT) as a means to minimize the thermal and photolytic effects commonly seen in SERS. By spinning the sample rapidly, the effective residence time of analytes and substrate within the irradiated zone is dramatically decreased without reduction of spectral acquisition time or the density of analyte in the zone. The technique is first studied by acquiring SERS spectra of various environmental and pharmaceutically relevant compounds such as Naproxen v USP, riboflavin, folic acid, Rhodamine 6G, and 4-aminothiophenol using silver islands on glass and silver-polydimethylsiloxane composites as SERS substrates. In all cases, the collected spectra show improvements upon spinning at laser powers as low as 4.2(±0.1) mW. Specific differences in the appearance of the spectra and the potential use of STT for improved SERS qualitative and quantitative determinations are presented. Although the combined use of STT- SERS and silver-polydimethylsiloxane nanocomposites (Ag-PDMS) showed promise in the analysis of aromatic compounds, the results demonstrated that new methods and protocols were needed to effectively implement SERS as a routine analytical technique. Consequently, further studies were performed to optimize the technique for the analysis of a series of naphthalene, phenol, and benzoic acid derivatives as model environmental pollutants. The presence of these chemicals in water constitutes a serious public health issue due to the toxicity, persistence and chemical activity of these chemicals in the environment. The STT technique showed a considerable improvement in the reproducibility and the sensitivity of
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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