A simple biogenic route to rapid synthesis of Au@TiO2 nanocomposites by electrochemically active biofilms

  • Shafeer Kalathil
  • Mohammad Mansoob Khan
  • Arghya Narayan Banerjee
  • Jintae Lee
  • Moo Hwan Cho
Research Paper


Deposition of gold on titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles is highly beneficial for maximizing the efficiency of many photocatalytic reactions. In this study, we have reported for the first time the use of an electrochemically active biofilm (EAB) for the synthesis of Au@TiO2 nanocomposite with sodium acetate as the electron donor. The EAB acts as an electron generator for the reduction of gold ions on the surface of TiO2 nanoparticles. It was observed that the TiO2 plays not only as a support for the gold nanoparticles but also as a storage of electrons produced by the EAB within the particles. These stored electrons dramatically increase the reduction of gold ions and hence we have observed the formation of the Au@TiO2 nanocomposites within 90 min. A mechanism of the nanocomposite formation is also proposed. The as-synthesized nanocomposites were characterized by UV–Vis absorption spectroscopy to monitor the proper formation of the nanocomposites. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopic analyses were performed to determine the structural and microstructural properties of the nanocomposites. High-resolution transmission electron micrographs depict the proper formation of the Au@TiO2 nanocomposites with gold nanoparticle size varying from 5 to 10 nm with an increase in the gold precursor concentration. Zeta potential measurements were used to investigate surface charges of the as-synthesized nanocomposites. This novel biogenic route represents a unique pathway for the low cost, eco-friendly, rapid, and controlled synthesis of nanostructured Au@TiO2 hybrid systems which will truly revolutionize the synthetic fields of nanocomposites.


Electrochemically active biofilm Nanocomposite Biogenic route Electron storage 



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Grant No: 2012R1A1A4A01005951). Shafeer Kalathil was supported by the Human Resources Development Program of Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) Grant (No: 20104010100580) funded by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Supplementary material

11051_2012_1051_MOESM1_ESM.doc (801 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 801 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shafeer Kalathil
    • 1
  • Mohammad Mansoob Khan
    • 1
  • Arghya Narayan Banerjee
    • 2
  • Jintae Lee
    • 1
  • Moo Hwan Cho
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemical EngineeringYeungnam UniversityGyeongsanSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringYeungnam UniversityGyeongsanSouth Korea

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