Green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using Trigonella foenum-graecum and its size-dependent catalytic activity

S Aswathy Aromal, Daizy Philip
Spectrochimica Acta. Part A, Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2012, 97: 1-5
The development of new synthesis methods for monodispersed nanocrystals using cheap and nontoxic chemicals, environmentally benign solvents and renewable materials remains a challenge to the scientific community. Most of the current methods involve known protocols which may be potentially harmful to either environment or human health. Recent research has been focused on green synthesis methods to produce new nanomaterials, ecofriendly and safer with sustainable commercial viability. The present work reports the green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using the aqueous extract of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) as reducing and protecting agent. The pathway is based on the reduction of AuCl(4)(-) by the extract of fenugreek. This method is simple, efficient, economic and nontoxic. Gold nanoparticles having different sizes in the range from 15 to 25 nm could be obtained by controlling the synthesis parameters. The nanoparticles have been characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and FTIR analysis. The high crystallinity of nanoparticles is evident from clear lattice fringes in the HRTEM images, bright circular spots in the SAED pattern and peaks in the XRD pattern. FTIR spectrum indicates the presence of different functional groups present in the biomolecule capping the nanoparticles. The synthesized gold nanoparticles show good catalytic activity for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol by excess NaBH(4). The catalytic activity is found to be size-dependent, the smaller nanoparticles showing faster activity.

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