Electrospun Nanofibers Made of Silver Nanoparticles, Cellulose Nanocrystals, and Polyacrylonitrile as Substrates for Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering

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Nanofibers with excellent activities in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) were developed through electrospinning precursor suspensions consisting of polyacrylonitrile (PAN), silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs), and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). Rheology of the precursor suspensions, and morphology, thermal properties, chemical structures, and SERS sensitivity of the nanofibers were investigated. The electrospun nanofibers showed uniform diameters with a smooth surface. Hydrofluoric (HF) acid treatment of the PAN/CNC/Ag composite nanofibers (defined as p-PAN/CNC/Ag) led to rougher fiber surfaces with certain pores and increased mean fiber diameters. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results confirmed the existence of AgNPs that were formed during heat and HF acid treatment processes. In addition, thermal stability of the electrospun nanofibers increased due to the incorporation of CNCs and AgNPs. The p-PAN/CNC/Ag nanofibers were used as a SERS substrate to detect p-aminothiophenol (p-ATP) probe molecule. The results show that this substrate exhibited high sensitivity for the p-ATP probe detection.

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Materials (Basel, Switzerland)

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