In a recent review paper, the research and application of agricultural sensors based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering/spectroscopy (SERS) technology were analyzed by a team of Prof. HUANG Qing from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, providing a useful guide for the development of optical-spectroscopy sensing technology for intelligent agriculture.
SERS technology has been applied in many fields as a non-destructive and sensitive detection and analysis tool with fingerprint characteristics of chemical substances. It is widely used in the quality assessment of agricultural products, crop growth monitoring, plant seed screening, food safety control and so on.
SERS technology boasted with special advantages over most traditional methods in detection speed, cost, efficiency, versatility, automation and portability. Therefore, the development of agricultural sensor technology based on SERS has also received increasing attention.
In this review, the researchers made a comprehensive survey of the current development of SERS agricultural sensors and shared their thoughts in the development and application of SERS technology in terms of detection of pesticide residues and other harmful substances in agricultural product quality and safety control.
Concerning the properties and advantages of SERS technique, the researchers introduced the applications of SERS sensors/substrates of different types, including flexible SERS substrates, reusable SERS substrates, specific target-selective SERS substrates, and microfluidic-based SERS chips, illustrating with examples applied in different scenarios.
"This review demonstrates the application prospects of SERS agricultural sensors," said LIU Rui, first author of the paper.
Schematic illustration of SERS-based sensors for agricultural applications. (Image by LIU Chao)
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