Constructing a Raman and surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectral reference library for fine-particle analysis

Suhua Wang , Hui Chen , Fengkui Duan , Kebin He , Jingjing Du , Zhenli Sun


Received May 13, 2021,Revised , Accepted August 13, 2021, Available online January 10, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 1-13

Fine particles associated with haze pollution threaten the health of over 400 million people in China. Owing to excellent non-destructive fingerprint recognition characteristics, Raman and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) are often used to analyze the composition of fine particles to determine their physical and chemical properties as well as reaction mechanisms. However, there is no comprehensive Raman spectral library of fine particles. Furthermore, various studies that used SERS for fine-particle composition analysis showed that the uniqueness of the SERS substrates and different excitation wavelengths can produce a different spectrum for the same fine-particle component. To overcome this limitation, we conducted SERS experiments with a portable Raman spectrometer using two common SERS substrates (silver (Ag) foil and gold nanoparticles (Au NPs)) and a 785 nm laser. Herein, we introduced three main particle component types (sulfate-nitrate-ammonium (SNA), organic material, and soot) with a total of 39 chemical substances. We scanned the solid Raman, liquid Raman, and SERS spectra of these substances and constructed a fine-particle reference library containing 105 spectra. Spectral results indicated that for soot and SNA, the differences in characteristic peaks mainly originated from the solid-liquid phase transition; Ag foil had little effect on this difference, while the Au NPs caused a significant red shift in the peak positions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Moreover, with various characteristic peak positions in the three types of spectra, we could quickly and correctly distinguish substances. We hope that this spectral library will aid in the future identification of fine particles.

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