Atomically thin boron nitride (BN) nanosheets have many properties desirable for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). BN nanosheets have a strong surface adsorption capability toward airborne hydrocarbon and aromatic molecules. For maximized adsorption area and hence SERS sensitivity, atomically thin BN nanosheet-covered gold nanoparticles have been prepared for the first time. When placed on top of metal nanoparticles, atomically thin BN nanosheets closely follow their contours so that the plasmonic hot spots are retained. Electrically insulating BN nanosheets also act as a barrier layer to eliminate metal-induced disturbances in SERS. Moreover, the SERS substrates veiled by BN nanosheets show an outstanding reusability in the long term. As a result, the sensitivity, reproducibility, and reusability of SERS substrates can be greatly improved. We also demonstrate that large BN nanosheets produced by chemical vapor deposition can be used to scale up the proposed SERS substrate for practical applications.
Field of Research
100708 Nanomaterials 0904 Chemical Engineering 0303 Macromolecular And Materials Chemistry 0306 Physical Chemistry (Incl. Structural)
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