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Researchers of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in cooperation with colleagues from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and Australia have found a new way to improve the technology for determining the smallest biomolecules. A group of physicists suggests to use a black silicon (b-Si) substrate. Experiments have shown that this specific nano-material can improve bioanalysis technologies to more accurately and reliably determine toxic, explosive, pollutants, and other hazardous substances. The results of the research have been published in the authoritative scientific journal Nanoscale.
According to Alexander Kuchmizhak, the head of the research, Research Associate, Department of Theoretical and Nuclear Physics, FEFU School of Natural Sciences, the interaction with a nanotextured substrate—the surface to identify substances—is important for the detection of the smallest molecules by the spectroscopic method. The substrates used at present are chemically active and, as a result, distort the signals of the molecules.
In the course of the research, the researchers found that black silicon (b-Si) based substrates, due to their special morphology, significantly enhance the Raman scattering signal (i.e. light that dissipates the molecules being analyzed), and do not distort it.
“These unique structures combine several useful properties: tunable optical response, significant increase in the intensity of the electromagnetic field and non-invasiveness, meaning a total absence of chemical influence. As a result, a unique substrate, absolutely chemically passive, was obtained from black silicon, which shows a powerful and reliable signal,” said Alexander Kuchmizhak.