Preparation of highly water dispersible functional graphene/silver nanocomposite for the detection of melamine

S. Vijay Kumar, N. M. Huang, H. N. Lim, M. Zainy, I. Harrison, C. H. Chia

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    A stable aqueous suspension of a functional graphene/silver (FG/Ag) nanocomposite was prepared by an environmentally friendly hydrothermal method. The precursor, functional graphene oxide (FGO), was prepared by covalent functionalisation of graphene oxide (GO) with a hydrophilic organosilane, N-(trimethoxysilylpropyl) ethylenediaminetriacetic acid trisodium salt (TETA). The attachment of functional groups on the GO surface maintained the aqueous stability of the FG/Ag nanocomposite even after the hydrothermal reduction. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) images illustrated a uniform distribution of Ag nanoparticles on the FG surface. The surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) activity of the nanocomposite was investigated using p-aminothiophenol (p-ATP) and melamine which can be detected as low as 2 × 10-8 and 2 × 10-7 M, respectively. The impressive water stability and the high SERS sensitivity of the FG/Ag nanocomposite make it a suitable substrate for trace analysis of a variety of drugs, additives or organic contaminants in water. The nanocomposite also showed a positive inhibition effect against the growth of Escherichia coli bacteria, eliminating the possibility of bacterial contamination of the sensor, thus prolonging the shelf-life of the sensing device.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)885-893
    Number of pages9
    JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
    StatePublished - 2013


    • Graphene
    • Nano composites
    • Nano particles
    • Raman spectroscopy


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