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Poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) Brushes with Incorporated Nanoparticles as a SERS Active Sensing Layer



A simple, fast, and versatile approach to the fabrication of outstanding surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates by exploiting the optical properties of the Ag nanoparticles and functional as well as organizational characteristics of the polymer brushes is reported. First, poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) brushes are synthesized directly on glassy carbon by self-initiated photografting and photopolymerization and thoroughly characterized in terms of their thickness, wettability, morphology, and chemical structure by means of ellipsometry, contact angle, AFM, and XPS, respectively. Second, Ag nanoparticles are homogeneously immobilized into the brush layer, resulting in a sensor platform for the detection of organic molecules by SERS. The surface enhancement factor (SEF) as determined by the detection of Rhodamine 6G is calculated as 6 × 106.