Gold and silver nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared in water, acetonitrile and isopropanol by laser ablation methodologies. The average characteristic (longer) size of the NPs obtained ranged from 3 to 70 nm. 4-Aminobenzebethiol (4-ABT) was chosen as the surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) probe molecule to determine the optimum irradiation time and the pH of aqueous synthesis of the laser ablation-based synthesis of metallic NPs. The synthesized NPs were used to evaluate their capacity as substrates for developing more analytical applications based on SERS measurements. A highly energetic material, TNT, was used as the target compound in the SERS experiments. The Raman spectra were measured with a Raman microspectrometer. The results demonstrate that gold and silver NP substrates fabricated by the methods developed show promising results for SERS-based studies and could lead to the development of micro sensors.
Keywords: Au and Ag NP; Raman spectroscopy; SERS; explosives; laser ablation.