In one embodiment, a system includes a plurality of metal nanoparticles functionalized with a plurality of organic molecules tethered thereto, wherein the plurality of organic molecules preferentially interact with one or more analytes when placed in proximity therewith. According to another embodiment, a method for detecting analytes includes contacting a fluid having one or more analytes of interest therein with a plurality of metal nanoparticles, each metal nanoparticle having a plurality of organic molecules tethered thereto, and detecting Raman scattering from an analyte of interest from the fluid, the analyte interacting with one or more of the plurality of organic molecules. In another embodiment, a method includes chemically modifying a plurality of cyclodextrin molecules at a primary hydroxyl moiety to create a chemical handle, and tethering the plurality of cyclodextrin molecules to a metal nanoparticle using the chemical handle. Other systems and methods for detecting analytes are also described.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.