The detection of terpene vapors, a group of biomarker vapors emitted by plants during their growth process, is an efficient way to monitor plant growth status and control plant pests and disease. In this study, a gas sensor based on the localized surface plasma resonance (LSPR) of Au nanoparticles (Au NPs) is proposed for the terpene vapors detection. Au ion sputtering method is used to deposit Au NPs on transparent glass substrates. The dependence of transmission spectra on the morphology of Au NPs prepared by different sputtering conditions is investigated. In order to enhance the sensitivity and selectivity of the sensor, thiolate modification is applied to form the selective soluble monolayer on the surface of Au NPs. The results indicate that different thiolates could form different steric capping layers, and the responding ability of the LSPR sensor is verified by a red-shift of the minimum transmittance in wavelength (Δλmin) and a decrease in the minimum transmittance (ΔTmin) upon exposure to terpene vapors.
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