Green synthesis of bimetallic copper–silver nanoparticles and their application in catalytic and antibacterial activities

  • Jawhara Al-Haddad
  • Fatima Alzaabi
  • Priyabrata PalEmail author
  • K. Rambabu
  • Fawzi BanatEmail author
Original Paper


The present research is focused on the synthesis of copper–silver bimetallic nanoparticles using the extracts from the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera) leaves. The effect of operational parameters such as type of solvent, pH of the plant extract, salt concentration, and the solution temperature on the particle size and yield of the resultant nanoparticles is reported for the first time. Water–ethanol mixture of 1:1 (v/v) ratio was found to be the best solvent for the extraction of phenolic compounds from the leaves. The novelty of this work lies in the fact that the addition of capping reagent extracted by the green synthesis process from aqueous Sidr leaves reduced the average particle size of the nanoparticles to 26 nm. The characterizations of the copper–silver bimetallic nanoparticles were performed using particle size analyzer, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray, and X-ray diffraction analysis. Thus, the synthesis of bimetallic copper–silver nanoparticle using palm leaves extract would provide the associated process chemistry. Produced bimetallic nanoparticles were used to establish their catalytic activity to degrade the methylene blue dye from aqueous solution. Well diffusion studies using the as-produced nanoparticles on Bacillus subtilis (Gram-positive) and Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) exhibited the antibacterial ability of the copper–silver bimetallic nanoparticles. The potential catalytic activity for dye degradation and antibacterial assay using nanoparticles highlights the efficacy of the palm leaves and its components.

Graphic abstract


Green synthesis Phoenix dactylifera Capping reagent Nanoparticles Methylene blue Antibacterial activity 



The authors are thankful to Abeer Alnahdi, Amna Alhosani, Ayesha Almheiri, Haleema Saleem, and R. Swathy for their help in experimental work.


  1. Abu-Sharkh BF, Hamid H (2004) Degradation study of date palm fibre/polypropylene composites in natural and artificial weathering: mechanical and thermal analysis. Polym Degrad Stab 85:967–973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Begum A, Mukherjee A, Kumar S (2017) A novel green synthesis of silver nanoparticles and their catalytic action in reduction of methylene blue dye. Sustain Environ Res 27:245–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boothe BW, Byun H, Kim J-H (2014) Silver-gold bimetallic nanoparticles and their applications as optical materials. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 14:1563–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dhoondia ZH, Chakraborty H (2012) Lactobacillus mediated synthesis of silver oxide nanoparticles. Nanomater Nanotechnol 2:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Do QD, Angkawijaya AE, Tran-Nguyen PL, Huynh LH, Soetaredjo FE, Ismadji S, Ju YH (2014) Effect of extraction solvent on total phenol content, total flavonoid content, and antioxidant activity of Limnophila aromatic. J Food Drug Anal 22:296–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Galhardo TS, Gonçalves M, Mandelli D, Carvalho WA (2018) Glycerol valorization by base-free oxidation with air using platinum-nickel nanoparticles supported on activated carbon as catalyst prepared by a simple microwave polyol method. Clean Technol Environ Policy 20:2075–2088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ghosh SK, Mandal M, Kundu S, Nath S, Pal T (2004) Bimetallic Pt-Ni nanoparticles can catalyze reduction of aromatic nitro compounds by sodium borohydride in aqueous solution. Appl Catal A Gen 268:61–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gupta N, Singh HP, Sharma RK (2011) Metal nanoparticles with high catalytic activity in degradation of methyl orange: an electron relay effect. J Mol Catal A Chem 335:248–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Halawani E (2017) Rapid biosynthesis method and characterization of silver nanoparticles using Zizyphus spina christi leaf extract and their antibacterial efficacy in therapeutic application. J Biomater Nanobiotechnol 8:22–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ibrahim HMM (2015) Green synthesis and characterization of silver nanoparticles using banana peel extract and their antimicrobial activity against representative microorganisms. J Radiat Res Appl Sci 8:296–302Google Scholar
  11. Karthik R, Muthezhilan R, Hussain AJ, Ramalingam K, Rekha V (2016) Effective removal of methylene blue dye from water using three different low-cost adsorbents. Desalt Water Treat 57:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kumar M, Deka S (2014) Multiply twinned AgNi alloy nanoparticles as highly active catalyst for multiple reduction and degradation reactions. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 6:16071–16081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li L, Niu Z, Cai S, Zhi Y, Li H, Rong H, Liu L, He W, Li Y (2013) A PdAg bimetallic nanocatalyst for selective reductive amination of nitroarenes. Chem Commun 49:6843–6845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li S, Wei T, Tang M, Chai F, Qu F, Wang C (2018) Facile synthesis of bimetallic Ag-Cu nanoparticles for colorimetric detection of mercury ion and catalysis. Sens Actuators B 255:1471–1481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Makarov VV, Love AJ, Sinitsyna OV, Makarova SS, Yaminsky IV, Taliansky ME, Kalinina NO (2014) Green nanotechnologies: synthesis of metal nanoparticles using plants. Acta Nat 6:35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mittal AK, Chisti Y, Banerjee UC (2013) Synthesis of metallic nanoparticles using plant extracts. Biotechnol Adv 31:346–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mohamad NAN, Jai J, Arham NA, Hadi A (2013) A short review on the synthesis of bimetallic nanoparticles using plant extract. In: IEEE international conference on control system, computing and engineering, Penang, Malaysia, pp 334–339Google Scholar
  18. Naika HR, Lingaraju K, Manjunath K, Kumar D, Nagaraju G, Suresh D, Nagabhushana H (2015) Green synthesis of CuO nanoparticles using Gloriosa superba L. extract and their antibacterial activity. J Taibah Univ Sci 9:7–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nesalin JAJ, Gowthamarajan K, Somashekhara CN (2009) Formulation and evaluation of nanoparticles containing flutamide. Int J ChemTech Res 1:1331–1334Google Scholar
  20. Pal P, Banat F (2015) Removal of contaminants from industrial lean amine solvent using polyacrylamide hydrogels optimized by response surface methodology. Adsorpt Sci Technol 33:9–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Park J, Joo J, Kwon S, Jang Y, Hyeon T (2007) Synthesis of monodisperse spherical nanocrystals. Angew Chem Int Ed 46:4630–4660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Patra JK, Baek K (2014) Green nanobiotechnology: factors affecting synthesis and characterization techniques. J Nanomater 2014:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Phan CM, Nguyen HM (2017) Role of capping agent in wet synthesis of nanoparticles. J Phys Chem A 121:3213–3219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rosbero TMS, Camacho DH (2017) Green preparation and characterization of tentacle-like silver/copper nanoparticles for catalytic degradation of toxic chlorpyrifos in water. J Environ Chem Eng 5:2524–2532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sankar R, Manikandan P, Malarvizhi V, Shivashangari KS, Ravikumar V (2014) Green synthesis of colloidal copper oxide nanoparticles using Carica papaya and its application in photocatalytic dye degradation. Spectrochim Acta Mol Biomol Spectrosc 121:746–750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Satishkumar M, Sneha K, Won SW, Cho CW, Kim S, Yun YS (2009) Cinnamon zeylanicum bark extract and powder mediated green synthesis of nano-crystalline silver particles and its bactericidal activity. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 73:332–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sinitsyna OV, Taliansky M, Yaminsky IV, Kalinina NO (2014) Green nanotechnologies: synthesis of metal nanoparticles using plants. Acta Nat 6:35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sivarajasekar N, Prakashmaran J, Naushad M, Farhan BZA, Poornima S, Sivapriya S, Gayathri V, Pradeepika T, Raghu V, Sivamani S, Dharaskar S, Dhakal N (2019) Recent updates on heavy metal remediation using date stones (Phoenix dactylifera L.)—date fruit processing industry waste. Sustain Agric Rev 34:193–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sondi I, Salopek-Sondi B (2004) Silver nanoparticles as antimicrobial agent: a case study on E. coli as a model for Gram-negative bacteria. J Colloid Interface Sci 275:177–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Su R, Tiruvalam R, He Q, Dimitratos N, Kesavan L, Hammond C, Lopez-Sanchez JA, Bechstein R, Kiely CJ, Hutchings GJ, Besenbacher F (2012) Promotion of phenol photodecomposition over TiO2 using au, pd and Au-Pd nanoparticles. ACS Nano 6:6284–6292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Suárez-Cerda J, Espinoza-Gómez H, Alonso-Núñez G, Rivero I, Gochi-Ponce Y, Flores-López L (2017) A green synthesis of copper nanoparticles using native cyclodextrins as stabilizing agents. J Saudi Chem Soc 21:341–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tan KS, Cheong KY (2013) Advances of Ag, Cu, and Ag-Cu alloy nanoparticles synthesized via chemical reduction route. J Nanopart Res 15:1–29Google Scholar
  33. Tippayawat P, Phromviyo N, Boueroy P, Chompoosor A (2016) Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles in aloe vera plant extract prepared by a hydrothermal method and their synergistic antibacterial activity. PeerJ 4:e2589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Verma AD, Pal S, Verma P, Srivastava V, Mandal RK, Sinha I (2017) Ag-Cu bimetallic nanocatalysts for p-nitrophenol reduction using a green hydrogen source. J Environ Chem Eng 5:6148–6155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vijayakumar M, Priya K, Nancy FT, Noorlidah A, Ahmed ABA (2013) Biosynthesis, characterisation and anti-bacterial effect of plant-mediated silver nanoparticles using Artemisia nilagirica. Ind Crop Prod 41:235–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wang H, Yi C, Tian L, Wang W, Fang J, Zhao J, Shen W (2012) Ag-Cu bimetallic nanoparticles prepared by microemulsion method as catalyst for epoxidation of styrene. J Nanomater 2012:1–8Google Scholar
  37. Wang Y, Niu C, Zhu Y (2019) Copper-silver bimetallic nanowire arrays for electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Nanomaters 9:1–10Google Scholar
  38. Wu W, Lei M, Yang S, Zhou L, Liu L, Xiao X, Jiang C, Roy VAL (2015) A one-pot route to the synthesis of alloyed Cu/Ag bimetallic nanoparticles with different mass ratios for catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol. J Mater Chem A 3:3450–3455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zaleska-Medynska A, Marchelek M, Diak M, Grabowska E (2016) Noble metal-based bimetallic nanoparticles: the effect of the structure on the optical, catalytic and photocatalytic properties. Adv Colloid Interface Sci 229:80–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhan F, Bian T, Zhao W, Zhang H, Jin M, Yang D (2014) Facile synthesis of Pd-Pt alloy concave nanocubes with high-index facets as electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation. CrystEngComm 16:2411–2416CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringKhalifa UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringVellore Institute of TechnologyVelloreIndia

Personalised recommendations