Organophosphorus nerve agents, such as sarin, tabun, cyclosarin and soman, belong to the most toxic substances. So, it is very important to quickly detect it in trace-level and on-site or portable way. But, both fast and trace detections have been expected because current techniques are of low sensitivity or of poor selectivity and are time-consuming. The surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based detection could be a suitable and effective method. However, the organophosphorus nerve agents only very weakly interact with highly SERS-activated noble metal substrates and are hardly adsorbed on them. In this case, it is difficult to detect such molecules, with reproducible or quantitative measurements and trace level, by the normal SERS technique. Recently, there have been some works on the SERS-based detection of the organophosphorus molecules. In this chapter, we introduce the main progresses in this field, including (1) the thin water film confinement and evaporation concentrating strategy and (2) the surface modification and amidation reaction. These works provide new ways for highly efficient SERS-based detection of the organophosphorus nerve agents and some other target molecules that weakly interact with the coin metal substrates.
Part of the book: Raman Spectroscopy