Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has great potential as an alternative tool for arsenic speciation in biological matrices. SERS measurements have advantages over other techniques due to its ability to maintain the integrity of arsenic species and its minimal requirements for sample preparation. Up to now, very few Raman spectra of arsenic compounds have been reported. This is particularly true for thiolated arsenicals, which have recently been found to be widely present in humans. The lack of data for Raman spectra in arsenic speciation hampers the development of new tools using SERS. Herein, we report the results of a study combining the analysis of experimental Raman spectra with that obtained from density functional calculations for some important arsenic metabolites. The results were obtained with a hybrid functional B3LYP approach using different basis sets to calculate Raman spectra of the selected arsenicals. By comparing experimental and calculated spectra of dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV), the basis set 6-311++G** was found to provide computational efficiency and precision in vibrational frequency prediction. The Raman frequencies for the rest of organoarsenicals were studied using this basis set, including monomethylarsonous acid (MMAIII), dimethylarsinous acid (DMAIII), dimethylmonothioarinic acid (DMMTAV), dimethyldithioarsinic acid (DMDTAV), S-(Dimethylarsenic) cysteine (DMAIII(Cys)) and dimethylarsinous glutathione (DMAIIIGS). The results were compared with fingerprint Raman frequencies from As─O, As─C, and As─S obtained under different chemical environments. These fingerprint vibrational frequencies should prove useful in future measurements of different species of arsenic using SERS.
Keywords: Arsenic metabolism; B3LYP; Density functional theory; Raman spectra; Thiolated arsenicals.
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