Detection of Environmental Pollutants by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Environmental monitoring today represents a significant challenge since the amount of pollutants released in the environment increases every year. The emergence of nanotechnology has provided a wide range of new tools for the detection and removal of various environmental pollutants. In particular, surface-enhanced Raman scattering is a very appealing nanotechnology tool for such applications as it enables ultrasensitive detection down to a single molecule and provides structural information about molecular species from their unique vibrational Raman fingerprints. This chapter reviews the recent progress related to environmental analysis and monitoring by SERS. In particular, we highlight the advances on the development of novel plasmonic materials and sensor devices based on specific nanostructured substrates for selective and sensitive trace analysis of various types of pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metal ions that negatively impact and change the environment and its components.