Au@pNIPAM Colloids as Molecular Traps for Surface-Enhanced, Spectroscopic, Ultra-Sensitive Analysis


  • This work has been funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MAT2007-62696 and MAT2008-05755/MAT), COST action D43, the Xunta de Galicia (PGIDIT06TMT31402PR), and Junta de Andalucia (“Excellence Project”: FQM-02353).


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Caught in a trap: Colloids of gold nanoparticles coated with a thermally responsive poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM) microgel can trap molecules in different ways as a function of temperature (see scheme). The porous pNIPAM shells prevent electromagnetic coupling between metal particles, thus providing highly reproducible surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) signals and intensity.