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Microbial manufacture of chalcogenide-based nanoparticles via the reduction of selenite using Veillonella atypica: an in situ EXAFS study

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/15/155603 DOI Help

Authors: Carolyn Pearce (University of Manchester) , Victoria Coker (University of Manchester) , John Charnock (University of Manchester) , Richard Pattrick (University of Manchester) , Fred Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source) , Nicholas Law (University of Manchester) , Terry Beveridge , Jonathan Lloyd (University of Manchester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nanotechnology , VOL 19 (15) , PAGES 155603

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2008

Abstract: The ability of metal-reducing bacteria to produce nanoparticles, and their precursors, can be harnessed for the biological manufacture of fluorescent, semiconducting nanomaterials. The anaerobic bacterium Veillonella atypica can reduce selenium oxyanions to form nanospheres of elemental selenium. These selenium nanospheres are then further reduced by the bacterium to form reactive selenide which could be precipitated with a suitable metal cation to produce nanoscale chalcogenide precipitates, such as zinc selenide, with optical and semiconducting properties. The whole cells used hydrogen as the electron donor for selenite reduction and an enhancement of the reduction rate was observed with the addition of a redox mediator (anthraquinone disulfonic acid). A novel synchrotron-based in situ time-resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy technique was used, in conjunction with ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma‚Äďatomic emission spectroscopy, to study the mechanisms and kinetics of the microbial reduction of selenite to selenide. The products of this biotransformation were also assessed using electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and fluorescence spectroscopy. This process offers the potential to prepare chalcogenide-based nanocrystals, for application in optoelectronic devices and biological labelling, from more environmentally benign precursors than those used in conventional organometallic synthesis.

Subject Areas: Materials, Biology and Bio-materials


Instruments: NONE-No attached Diamond beamline