Fabrication and Characterization of the US Army Research Laboratory Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Substrates

Report No. ARL-TR-8226
Authors: Mikella E Farrell; Karen Grutter; Michael A Powers; Paul M Pellegrino
Date/Pages: November 2017; 52 pages
Abstract: Capabilities for timely and accurate sensing and identifying of unknown materials at point of contact and in real time are critically important for the US Department of Defense and other first responders and thereby aid in the determination of proper reaction. Technologies that include Raman-based sensing offer one potential means to work toward accomplishing this goal. Of the several commercially available Raman-based sensors, none have yet to be a successfully demonstrated universal sensor for US Army-relevant sensing. In this report we discuss the fabrication process of the US Army Research Laboratory's (ARL's) Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) substrates for potential sensing and identification of unknown materials. We demonstrate that the substrate was SERS-active and able to detect a standard SERS analyte. We also demonstrate that the ARL SERS substrate is comparable to the previously commercially available Klarite substrate. A discussion of future works highlights the potential use of this substrate for Army-relevant detection and identification of unknown materials.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2017