Five plant leaf extracts (Pine, Persimmon, Ginkgo, Magnolia and Platanus) were used and compared for their extracellular synthesis of metallic silver nanoparticles. Stable silver nanoparticles were formed by treating aqueous solution of AgNO3 with the plant leaf extracts as reducing agent of Ag+ to Ag0. UV-visible spectroscopy was used to monitor the quantitative formation of silver nanoparticles. Magnolia leaf broth was the best reducing agent in terms of synthesis rate and conversion to silver nanoparticles. Only 11 min was required for more than 90% conversion at the reaction temperature of 95 °C using Magnolia leaf broth. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were characterized with inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (ICP), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and particle analyzer. The average particle size ranged from 15 to 500 nm. The particle size could be controlled by changing the reaction temperature, leaf broth concentration and AgNO3 concentration. This environmentally friendly method of biological silver nanoparticles production provides rates of synthesis faster or comparable to those of chemical methods and can potentially be used in various human contacting areas such as cosmetics, foods and medical applications.
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Song, J.Y., Kim, B.S. Rapid biological synthesis of silver nanoparticles using plant leaf extracts. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 32, 79–84 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-008-0224-6