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Enabling the 3D printed Inconel metal brushes into plasmonic and photocatalytic substrates to transform them as next generation Recyclable SERS substrates.
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  • Suresh Kumar Bhargava,
  • Uzma Malik,
  • Maciej Mazur,
  • Selvakannan Periasamy
Suresh Kumar Bhargava
RMIT University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Uzma Malik
RMIT University
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Maciej Mazur
RMIT University
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Selvakannan Periasamy
RMIT University
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Abstract

This research presents a groundbreaking method for transforming 3D-printed metal substrates, specifically Inconel structures created through Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF), into sophisticated and recyclable Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) platforms. The process involves flame-depositing soot particles onto the metal surfaces using eucalyptus oil, acting as an adlayer and template for the subsequent grafting of TiO2/Ag nanostructures. Unlike conventional SERS substrates, these printed metal structures actively interact with soot particles, forming metal carbides on the surface. The deposition of TiO2 onto these templates ensures robust grafting and preservation of the fractal structure of the soot template on the metal surface. Electroless deposition of silver nanoparticles yields fractally structured TiO2/Ag nanostructures, establishing functionalized metal brushes as effective SERS substrates. Additionally, the incorporation of photocatalytic functionality allows analyte removal from the surface under photochemical conditions, facilitating the recycling and reuse of the SERS substrates. Enhanced photocatalytic activity, achieved through the migration of metals from printed metal structures into fractally ordered TiO2/Ag nanostructures, further enhances the recyclability of these substrates. This research highlights the potential of 3D-printed Inconel metal substrates as the next generation of recyclable SERS platforms, surpassing traditional SERS substrates in terms of sustainability and analytical performance.