Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.584, 11-18, 2021
SERS-active linear barcodes by microfluidic-assisted patterning
Simple, low-cost, robust, and scalable fabrication of microscopic linear barcodes with high levels of complexity and multiple authentication layers is critical for emerging applications in information security and anti-counterfeiting. This manuscript presents a novel approach for fabrication of microscopic linear barcodes that can be visualized under Raman microscopy. Microfluidic channels are used as molds to generate linear patterns of end-grafted polymers on a substrate. These patterns serve as templates for area-selective binding of colloidal gold nanoparticles resulting in plasmonic arrays. The deposition of multiple taggant molecules on the plasmonic arrays via a second microfluidic mold results in a linear barcode with unique Raman fingerprints that are enhanced by the underlying plasmonic nanoparticles. The width of the bars is as small as 10 mu m, with a total barcode length on the order of 100 mu m. The simultaneous use of geometric and chemical security layers provides a high level of complexity challenging the counterfeiting of the barcodes. The additive, scalable, and inexpensive nature of the presented approach can be easily adapted to different colloidal nanomaterials and applications. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.