• surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy;
  • GMA–EDMA porous material;
  • pesticide;
  • ultra-sensitive detection;
  • rapid detection

A novel miniature device for rapid ultra-sensitive surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection was developed in the present study. The device was made of a syringe, a piece of filter, and a Teflon tube. Therefore, it was with advantages of simplicity, miniaturization, and easy operability. The tube was filled in advance with the glycidyl methacrylate-ethylene dimethacrylate powder porous material which has been proved to increase the sensitivity of normal SERS dramatically, then the mixture solution containing the analyte, silver colloid, and NaCl solution passed through the porous material by the action of the syringe. SERS signals were collected from the surface of the material. Rhodamine 6G (R6G), p-aminothiophenol (PATP), and thiabendazole (TBZ) were employed as the probe molecules in the present work. R6G at microlitre-scale can be detected at an extremely low concentration of 10–18 mol/l, and the relative standard deviation of spot to spot is 14.16% at the intensity of the band at 609 cm−1. The concentrations of PATP and TBZ that can be detected with the method are 10−11 mol/l and 1.3 × 10−6 mol/l, respectively. This method not only has achieved the ultra-sensitive detection of dye and pesticide but also realized the simple, rapid, and small sample quantity requirement detection, and it is of great potential use for lots of analytes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.