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Characterization of carfentanil and thiofentanil using surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy and density functional theory
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Division of CBRN Defence and Security, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0168-0197
Division of Weapons, Protection and Security, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), Norra Sorunda, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9239-0541
Division of CBRN Defence and Security, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), Umeå, Sweden.
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2024 (English)In: Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, ISSN 0377-0486, E-ISSN 1097-4555Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Fentanyls are synthetic opioids up to 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Although initially developed for medical applications, fentanyl and its analogues have recently grown synonymous with the ongoing opioid epidemic. To combat the continued spread of these substances, there is a need for rapid and sensitive techniques for chemical detection. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has the potential for trace detection of harmful chemical substances. However, vibrational spectra obtained by SERS often differ between SERS substrates, as well as compared with spectra from normal Raman (NR) spectroscopy. Herein, SERS and NR responses from two fentanyl analogues, carfentanil (CF) and thiofentanil (TF), were measured and analysed with support from density functional theory (DFT) modelling. Using commercially available silver nanopillar SERS substrates, the SERS signatures of samples diluted in acetonitrile between 0.01 and 1000 µg/mL were studied. Relative SERS peak intensities measured in the range of 220–1800 cm−1 vary with concentration, while SERS and NR spectra largely agree for CF at higher concentrations ((Formula presented.) 100 µg/mL). For TF, three distinct NR peaks at 262, 366 and 667 cm−1 are absent or strongly suppressed in the SERS spectrum, attributed to the lone-pair electrons of the thiophene's sulphur atom binding to the Ag surface. The concentration dependence of the Raman peak at (Formula presented.) 1000 cm−1, assigned to trigonal bending of the phenyl ring, approximately follows a Langmuir adsorption isotherm. This work elucidates similarities and differences between SERS and NR in fentanyl detection and discusses the chemical rationale behind these differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2024.
Keywords [en]
carfentanil, opioids, Raman, SERS, thiofentanil
National Category
Analytical Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-219515DOI: 10.1002/jrs.6643ISI: 001139395600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85181933303OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-219515DiVA, id: diva2:1830129
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2019-04016Swedish Research Council, 2018-03937The Kempe Foundations, JCK-2132Available from: 2024-01-22 Created: 2024-01-22 Last updated: 2024-01-22

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Öberg, RasmusGracia-Espino, EduardoAndersson, Magnus

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