Flow-based approach for scalable fabrication of Ag nanostructured substrate as a platform for surface-enhanced Raman scattering

Chiranjeevi Kanike, Hongyan Wu, A.W. Zaibudeen, Yanan Li, Zixiang Wei, Larry D. Unsworth, Arnab Atta, Xuehua Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


The droplet-based biphasic reaction is an efficient strategy for the fabrication of surface-bound nanostructures. Here, we developed a process of fabricating ordered micro-ring arrays of silver (Ag) nanostructures from surface nanodroplet reaction on a micro-patterned hydrophobic substrate for reproducible detection by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Our process consisted of the generation of surface nanodroplet arrays, followed by a biphasic chemical reaction between droplets and the continuous flow of silver nitrate (AgNO3) precursor solution. The parameters in the formation and reaction of the droplet array were well controlled to maintain the uniformity of Ag nanostructures throughout the substrate. By scaling up the process parameters and the size of the microchamber, we were able to produce a SERS substrate with a surface area of ¿60 cm2 in a single run. Such a large area could be sufficient for analyzing more than a thousand samples. We demonstrated the repeatability of SERS measurements using Ag nanostructures by analyzing three environmental (rhodamine 6G, chlorpyrifos, triclosan), a biological (indoxyl sulfate), and a psychoactive drug (tetrahydrocannabinol) compounds. 2D mapping of SERS intensities was also performed for both small and large-scale substrates by collecting data from more than 100 locations on the substrate. Our work demonstrated droplet-based biphasic reaction as a simple approach for the fabrication of SERS substrate with a large area. The technique may help to eliminate the requirement for sophisticated equipment for the fabrication of SERS active substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144019
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date10 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023


  • Ag nanostructures
  • Biphasic-reaction
  • Reproducibility
  • Scale-up
  • SERS
  • Surface nanodroplet
  • 2023 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Flow-based approach for scalable fabrication of Ag nanostructured substrate as a platform for surface-enhanced Raman scattering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this