Controllable Ag nanostructure patterning in a microfluidic channel for real-time SERS systems†
We present a microfluidic patterning system for fabricating nanostructured Ag thin films via a polyol method. The fabricated Ag thin films can be used immediately in a real-time SERS sensing system. The Ag thin films are formed on the inner surfaces of a microfluidic channel so that a Ag-patterned Si wafer and a Ag-patterned PDMS channel are produced by the fabrication. The optimum sensing region and fabrication duration for effective SERS detection were determined. As SERS active substrates, the patterned Ag thin films exhibit an enhancement factor (EF) of 4.25 × 1010. The Ag-patterned polymer channel was attached to a glass substrate and used as a microfluidic sensing system for the real-time monitoring of biomolecule concentrations. This microfluidic patterning system provides a low-cost process for the fabrication of materials that are useful in medical and pharmaceutical detection and can be employed in mass production.