Bactericidal Silver Nanoparticles by Plasma Processing

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nanomaterials Article Bactericidal Silver Nanoparticles by Atmospheric Pressure Solution Plasma Processing Janith Weerasinghe 1,2,* , Wenshao Li 3, Rusen Zhou 4, Renwu Zhou 5 , Alexander Gissibl 3, Prashant Sonar 1,2, Robert Speight 3 , Krasimir Vasilev 6 and Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov 1,2 1 2 3 4 5 Received: 3 April 2020; Accepted: 22 April 2020; Published: 1 May 2020 School of Chemistry and Physics, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4000, Queensland, Australia Centre for Materials Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4000, Queensland, Australia School of Biology and Environmental Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4000, Queensland, Australia School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4000, Queensland, Australia School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, New South Wales, Australia School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, South Australia, Australia 6 * Correspondence: adikaram@qut.edu.au; Tel.: +61-481979488 Abstract: Silver nanoparticles have applications in plasmonics, medicine, catalysis and electronics. We report a simple, cost-effective, facile and reproducible technique to synthesise silver nanoparticles via plasma-induced non-equilibrium liquid chemistry with the absence of a chemical reducing agent. Silver nanoparticles with tuneable sizes from 5.4 to 17.8 nm are synthesised and characterised using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and other analytic techniques. A mechanism for silver nanoparticle formation is also proposed. The antibacterial activity of the silver nanoparticles was investigated with gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The inhibition of both bacteria types was observed. This is a promising alternative method for the instant synthesis of silver nanoparticles, instead of the conventional chemical reduction route, for numerous applications. Keywords: silver nanoparticles; AC – DBD plasma; plasma production of nanoparticles 1. Introduction Silver (Ag) nanoparticles have been widely studied due to their applications in a broad area of industries, such as biomedical engineering, textiles, healthcare, electronics, optics, and chemical engineering [1–4]. A number of synthesis techniques have been developed for the generation of silver nanoparticles [5]. Chemical reduction is one of the most popular techniques that employs reducing agents, such as ascorbic acid, to reduce the silver from its precursor solution [6]. However, thorough water treatment processes are required to remove the unused reducing agents from the final product since some reducing agents, such as hydrazine and sodium borohydride, are toxic [2]. Nanoparticle agglomeration occurs due to the high active surface area and capping agents, such as Poly (Viny Pyrrolidone) (PVP) or Poly (Vinyl Alcohol) (PVA), which are used to prevent the agglomeration of the formed nanoparticles [4]. A number of other methods are also used for the silver nanoparticle synthesis such as biosynthesis, photochemical and sonochemical pathways [3,4]. These techniques still require either several processing steps or time to obtain pure yield of the synthesised product. Here, we address these issues and demonstrate a versatile synthesis of functional silver nanoparticles by atmospheric pressure solution plasma processing. 􏰁􏰂􏰃 􏰅􏰆􏰇 􏰈􏰉􏰊􏰋􏰌􏰂􏰍 Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 874; doi:10.3390/nano10050874 www.mdpi.com/journal/nanomaterials

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