Facile and Green Route to Silver Nanoparticles Using Aqueous Plant Extract, and their Photocatalytic and Antibacterial Studies


  • Elias Emeka ELEMIKE
  • Damian Chinedu ONWUDIWE North West University, South Africa
  • Tanzim SAIYED
  • Anthony Chinonso EKENNIA
  • Mayowa Akeem AZEEZ




Green synthesis, nanoparticles, antibacterial, photocatalysis


Silver nanoparticles were prepared through an environmental friendly and cost-effective plant-mediated technique, using crude extracts of Welsh onion plant. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized using UV-vis spectrophotometer, powdered X-ray diffractometer (p-XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectrophotometer, and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Silver nanoparticles of different sizes and morphologies were obtained by varying some synthesis parameters such as concentrations of AgNO3 (1, 2 and 5 mM) and ratio of the volume of the plant extract to AgNO3 (1:5 and 1:10) at constant reaction temperature of 80 °C. The difference in the reaction conditions showed significant effects on silver nanoparticles obtained. The surface plasmon resonance (SPR) varied with change in concentration of AgNO3 and the ratio of the AgNO3 to the plant extracts. The lowest SPR appeared around 412 nm (2 mM; 1:10), while the largest was achieved around 427 nm (5 mM; 1:10). FTIR results revealed the presence of different characteristic functional groups responsible for the bioreduction of silver ions in Welsh onion extract. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the lowest average particle size of the silver nanoparticles was 3.74 nm (2 mM; 1:10), while the highest was 15.72 nm (1 mM; 1:5). Monodispersed spherical shaped nanoparticles were obtained from the 2 mM concentration of the AgNO3, while particles with some degree of agglomeration were obtained from 1 and 5 mM concentration. The p-XRD studies revealed face centred cubic structures. The nanoparticles obtained from 1 and 5 mM (1:5) gave moderate photo-catalytic potentials in the degradation of methyl red dye. However, the photocatalytic property increased with increase in the concentration of the precursor salt (AgNO3) from 1 to 5 mM. Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus and Gram negative Klebsiela pneumonia and Escherichia coli bacteria strains were susceptible to the silver nanoparticles (2 mM). The nanoparticles were most active against E. coli with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) below 0.05 mg/mL. The silver nanoparticles could become potential compounds in the future antibiotic research.