A breakthrough in detecting aromatic molecules on gold surfaces has been achieved through Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, offering new insights into molecular interactions and detection methods.
A research team led by Prof. Liangbao Yang from Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has observed the interactions between aromatic molecules and Au surfaces on a single Au nanodimer by Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS).
The results were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, and were selected as the front cover of the issue.
Unveiling Molecular Interactions
Interface interaction between aromatic molecules and noble metals plays a prominent role in fundamental science and technological applications. However, due to the limitation of characterization technology and the complexity of experimental conditions, there is still a lack of quantitative understanding of the specific mechanism of this interaction under environmental conditions.
To solve this problem, the research team constructed Au nanodimer structure with subnanometer gap.
Based on this structure, scientists obtained surface molecular vibration spectrum information with the help of SERS.
Advancements in SERS Detection
This innovative approach not only facilitated the collection of detailed molecular information but also enhanced the sensitivity of SERS detection for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
They found that the SERS sensitivity of PAHs increases as the number of aromatic rings in the molecule increases. This provides a new idea for the highly sensitive detection of aromatic molecules.
At the same time, the physical adsorption types of aromatic molecules on the Au surface and the electron density distribution at the interface are also revealed.
Implications for Future Research
The implications of this research are vast, demonstrating SERS’s potential in probing interfacial interactions at the molecular level. This work opens new avenues for basic research and technological advancements in the field, marking a significant step forward in our understanding of molecular interactions on noble metal surfaces.
Reference: “Observing π–Au Interaction between Aromatic Molecules and Single Au Nanodimers with a Subnanometer Gap by SERS” by Guoliang Zhou, Pan Li, Yuanhui Xiao, Siyu Chen, Shirui Weng, Ronglu Dong, Dongyue Lin, De-Yin Wu and Liangbao Yang, 28 November 2023, Analytical Chemistry.