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Trends Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;31(4):240-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

The greener synthesis of nanoparticles.

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Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Facultad de Ciencias Físico-Matemáticas, CIIDIT, Ciudad Universitaria, Monterrey, NL 66450, Mexico.


In this review, we examine 'greener' routes to nanoparticles of zerovalent metals, metal oxides, and salts with an emphasis on recent developments. Products from nature or those derived from natural products, such as extracts of various plants or parts of plants, tea, coffee, banana, simple amino acids, as well as wine, table sugar and glucose, have been used as reductants and as capping agents during synthesis. Polyphenols found in plant material often play a key role in these processes. The techniques involved are simple, environmentally friendly, and generally one-pot processes. Tea extracts with high polyphenol content act as both chelating/reducing and capping agents for nanoparticles. We discuss the key materials used in the field: silver, gold, iron, metal alloys, oxides, and salts.

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