Superhydrophobic SERS chip based on a Ag coated natural taro-leaf†
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates based on plasmonic nanostructures allow for label-free and fingerprinting molecular detection with ultrahigh sensitivity and selectivity, but their complicated and high-cost fabrication remains a challenge for practical applications and commercialization of SERS technology. Herein, we developed a facile and low-cost natural SERS substrate based on silver coated taro leaf (Taro-leaf@Ag) that exhibits ordered micro-papillae and secondary crossed nanoplates. The micro-papillae exhibited superior superhydrophobicity for analyte enrichment and the secondary crossed nanoplates provided rich SERS hot spots, which together lead to highly sensitive SERS detection with a detection limit as low as 10−8 M. Moreover, the crossed nanoplates were uniformly distributed such that reproducible SERS measurements with a 9.7% variation over 1274 spectra was achieved. The high SERS sensitivity and reproducibility as well as the facile and low-cost fabrication make the Taro-leaf@Ag a promising natural SERS substrate for future practical biochemical detection methods.