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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag December 16, 2021

Tunable nanopillar array on a quartz-fiber tip for surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection

Einstellbare Nanosäulenanordnung auf der Spitze einer Quarzglasfaser für oberflächenverstärkte Raman-Spektroskopie (SERS)
Evgeny Melekhov

I received my Bachelor in Microsystems in 2014 and master’s degree in Electrical and Microsystems Engineering in 2017 at the Technical University of Applied Siences Regensburg. I am currently a Ph. D. student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alfred Lechner at the Center of Excellence NanoChem.

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, Tatjana Penn , Tobias Weidauer , Valerius Abb , Martin Kammler and Alfred Lechner
From the journal tm - Technisches Messen


In this work, a simple two-step method to create tunable self-assembled three-dimensional nanostructure array-like nanoantennas directly on the tip of an optical quartz glass fiber is described. The structures are prepared by using dry etching of the fiber tip. For the etching process, gold nanoparticles fabricated by thermal dewetting technique were used as template. The structures are applied as sensors for label-free analysis of organic substances in ppb range, such as drug residues in liquid solutions. The measurements are carried out by a portable Raman device with an exchangeable sensor head utilizing the SERS-effect. This method allows in situ applications. In order to characterize the SERS cells, para-thiocresol and diclofenac sodium are used as model substances. For optimization of the substrate performance, different thicknesses of the dewetting-layer (6, 9, 12 nm), different etching times for formation of the pillars (6, 8, 10 and 12 min), and different thicknesses of SERS-metallization (25, 50, 75 nm) of gold and silver are compared. In order to show the applicability of the structure on the tip of a fiber, measurements from the upper side and from the underside of the substrate on quartz plates are compared. Reproducible SERS enhancement factors up to 10 7 were achieved.


In dieser Arbeit wird eine zweistufige Methode beschrieben, um einstellbare selbstorganisierte dreidimensionale SERS-aktive Nanostrukturen in Form von Nanosäulen auf der Spitze einer optischen Quarzglasfaser herzustellen. Die Strukturen werden durch trockenchemisches Ätzen der Faserspitze erzeugt. Für den Ätzprozess werden als Maske Goldnanopartikel verwendet, die mittels Thermal Dewetting hergestellt werden. Der Sensor wird für eine markierungsfreie Analyse von organischen Substanzen, wie bspw. Medikamentenrückstände in wässrigen Lösungen, im ppb-Bereich eingesetzt. Die Messungen werden mit einem tragbaren Raman-Gerät mit einem austauschbaren Sensorkopf durchgeführt. Um die SERS-Zellen zu charakterisieren, werden para-Thiocresol und Diclofenac-Natrium als Modellsubstanzen verwendet. Zur Optimierung der Substratleistung werden unterschiedliche Dicken der Dewettinglayer (6, 9, 12 nm), unterschiedliche Ätzzeiten der Nanosäulen (6, 8, 10 und 12 min) und unterschiedliche Schichtdicken der SERS-Metallisierung (25, 50, 75 nm) von Gold und Silber verglichen. Um die Anwendbarkeit der Struktur an der Spitze einer Faser zu zeigen, werden Messungen von der Oberseite und von der Rückseite des Substrats in Form eines Quarzglasplatten verglichen. Diese Struktur liefert einen reproduzierbaren Verstärkungsfaktor von bis zu 10 7 .

Funding statement: This project was supported by the elsys Bayern FuE-Programm “Elektronische Systeme” des Bayerischen Staatsministeriums für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie (StMWi).

About the author

Evgeny Melekhov

I received my Bachelor in Microsystems in 2014 and master’s degree in Electrical and Microsystems Engineering in 2017 at the Technical University of Applied Siences Regensburg. I am currently a Ph. D. student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alfred Lechner at the Center of Excellence NanoChem.


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Received: 2021-08-12
Accepted: 2021-11-24
Published Online: 2021-12-16
Published in Print: 2022-01-31

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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