Dual-functional Au-porous anodic alumina (PAA) sensors for enrichment and label-free detection of airborne virus with surface-enhanced Raman scattering

Jin Han, Xinlian Zhang, Robin R. Jones, Guodong Sui, Ventsislav K. Valev, Liwu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of a rapid and sensitive method for the enrichment and direct detection of airborne viruses has become urgently needed to prevent their spread. We have developed a dual-functional, label-free platform for the enrichment and optical identification of airborne viruses. This platform allows for the on-site enrichment and identification of airborne viruses through a virus enrichment component combined with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). In this work, we created an Au-porous anodic alumina (PAA) composite film, by ion sputtering Au nanoparticles (Au NPs) on a porous structure. The Au-PAA serves as a dual-functional sensor: it combines ultrafiltration through the vertical nanopores in the PAA for virus enrichment and constitutes a plasmonic substrate due to the surface plasmon near-field enhancements within the nanochannel structure. This sensor demonstrates an extraordinary enrichment efficiency (about 98 %) of obtained bioaerosols and enables simultaneous, sensitive detection at the single-virus level. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations evidenced the electric field intensity and charge distribution of the Au-PAA. This Au-PAA composite film offers a powerful system for on-site, label-free viral particle enrichment and SERS detection. Contaminated air containing viruses can be collected in a few minutes and analyzed immediately by our platform, which is particularly beneficial for timely monitoring of viruses in the air of large public spaces. Additionally, this platform can be applied to evaluate the indoor air quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111484
JournalBuilding and Environment
Early online date10 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request.


  • Airborne virus
  • Bioaerosol
  • Porous anodic alumina
  • SERS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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