The Development of a Portable Arsenic Detector Based on Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Rapid on-Site Testing of Groundwater

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The combination of high toxicity and widespread occurrence has created a pressing need for effective monitoring of arsenic in groundwater. Although laboratory analysis has been used to measure arsenic in collected groundwater samples, the time and cost associated with sample collection, packaging, shipping and instrumental analysis prevents its widespread use. We discuss the development and performance of a field deployable monitoring tool based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for rapid on-site detection and quantification of arsenic in groundwater. The developed SERS sensor can be directly inserted into samples of groundwater brought up to the surface for on-site arsenic detection and quantification. We present data showing this system is capable of detecting arsenic in groundwater at 1 ppb concentration level in situ with little or no sample preparation and with no interferences from other co-existing ions or species in water. Because of the low cost associated with the SERS sensor materials and fabrications, they can be manufactured as disposable products so that any possible contaminants from analytes (i.e., arsenic) deposited from previous measurements are avoided.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2011: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy
Published: June 13, 2011
Pages: 521 - 524
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Medical & Biotech
Topic: Environmental Health & Safety of Nanomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4398-7138-6