Trace detection of common pesticide residue is necessary to assure safety of fruit and vegetables, given that the potential health risk to consumers is attributed to the contamination of the sources. A simple, rapid and effective means of finding the residue is however required for household purposes. In recent years, the technique in association with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has been well developed in particular for trace detection of target molecules. Herein, gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) were integrated with sol-gel spin-coated Zirconia nanofibers (ZrO2 NFs) as a chemically stable substrate and used for SERS application. The morphologies of Au NPs/ZrO2 NFs were adjusted by the precursor concentrations (_X, X = 0.05–0.5 M) and the effect of SERS on Au NPs/ZrO2 NFs_X was evaluated by different Raman laser wavelengths using rhodamine 6G as the probe molecule at low concentrations. The target pesticides, phosmet (P1), carbaryl (C1), permethrin (P2) and cypermethrin (C2) were thereafter tested and analyzed. Au NPs/ZrO2 NFs_0.3 exhibited an enhancement factor of 2.1 × 107, which could detect P1, C1, P2 and C2 at the concentrations down to 10−8, 10−7, 10−7 and 10−6 M, respectively. High selectivity to the organophosphates was also found. As the pesticides were dip-coated on an apple and then measured on the diluted juice containing sliced apple peels, the characteristic peaks of each pesticide could be clearly identified. It is thus promising to use NPs/ZrO2 NFs_0.3 as a novel SERS-active substrate for trace detection of pesticide residue upon, for example, fruits or vegetables.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)