Elucidating Sensitivity and Stability Relationship of Gold–Carbon Hybrid LSPR Sensors Using Principal Component Analysis

Nikhil Bhalla, Preetam Kumar Sharma, Supriya Chakrabarti

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Sensitive localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensing is achieved using nanostructured geometries of noble metals which typically have dimensions less than 100 nm. Among the plethora of geometries and materials, the spherical geometries of gold (Au) are widely used to develop sensitive bio/chemical sensors due to ease of manufacturing and biofunctionlization. One major limitation of spherical-shaped geometries of Au, used for LSPR sensing, is their low refractive index (RI) sensitivity which is commonly addressed by adding another material to the Au nanostructures. However, the process of addition of new material on Au nanostructures, while retaining the LSPR of Au, often comes with a trade-off which is associated with the instability of the developed composite, especially in harsh chemical environments. Addressing this challenge, we develop a Au-graphene-layered hybrid (Au-G) with high stability (studied up to 2 weeks here) and enhanced RI sensitivity (a maximum of 180.1 nm/RIU) for generic LSPR sensing applications using spherical Au nanostructures in harsh chemical environments, involving organic solvents. Additionally, by virtue of principal component analysis, we correlate stability and sensitivity of the developed system. The relationship suggests that the shelf life of the material is proportional to its sensitivity, while the stability of the sensor during the measurement in liquid environment decreases when the sensitivity of the material is increased. Though we uncover this relationship for the LSPR sensor, it remains evasive to explore similar relationships within other optical and electrochemical transduction techniques. Therefore, our work serves as a benchmark report in understanding/establishing new correlations between sensing parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27664-27673
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number31
Early online date27 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All authors thank Ulster University for its support for open access publication charges for this manuscript. N.B. and P.K.S. would like to thank support from the Department of Economy, Northern Ireland, in the form of a GCRF-Primer grant, and S.C. thanks the support of the Department of Economy, Northern Ireland, under the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme, reference number: USI160.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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