Biosynthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles using Ficus Auriculata (elephant ear fig) leaf extract and their photocatalytic activity

Mohd Norazwan Mohd Nor, Mustaffa Shamsuddin


The synthesis of semiconductor metal oxide nanoparticles is an expanding research area due to their applications in photocatalysis. Recently, synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles assisted by biomolecules have provide alternative to conventional methods due to its simplicity and eco-friendly. In the present study, an environmental friendly, low-cost and simple procedure for the biosynthesis of hexagonal zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) using aqueous leaf extract of Ficus auriculata as capping agent is described. ZnO-NPs were synthesised via coprecipitation technique by treating zinc nitrate solution with sodium hydroxide in the presence of leaf extract. FESEM, EDX, XRD, FTIR, UV-Vis spectroscopy have been used for characterizing the ZnO-NPs. FTIR spectral data showed the presence of functional groups of both leaf extract powder and ZnO-NPs indicating the biomolecules have capped on the surface of the nanoparticles. XRD data showed the synthesised ZnO-NPs are wurtzite hexagonal structure with crystallite size of about 13.8 nm. FESEM micrograph image suggested the ZnONPs were mostly spherical shape while EDX analysis revealed the signals of Zn and O elements present in the sample. The synthesised ZnO-NPs were tested for the decolourization of methylene blue under visible and UV irradiation giving an efficiency of 19.8 and 88.2 % respectively.


ZnO-NPs, biosynthesis, photocatalytic activity, Ficus auriculata

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