Applied Nanoscience (v.5, #1)

Plant-mediated synthesis of silver-nanocomposite as novel effective azo dye adsorbent by Mantosh Kumar Satapathy; Priya Banerjee; Papita Das (1-9).
Toxicity of textile effluent is a globally alarming issue nowadays. In order to address this problem, a cost-effective and environment-friendly technique for adsorption of toxic dyes has been introduced in this research. Firstly in this study, green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) having antibacterial efficacy, had been carried out using leaf extracts of Azadirachta indica as reducing as well as capping agent. This research idea was further extended for the development and application of a novel method of preparation of silver-nanocomposite using synthesized microwave-assisted AgNPs with soil as a novel nanocomposite to adsorb hazardous dyes. However, this nanocomposite was found to possess higher efficiency and adsorption capacity in comparison to soil as adsorbent for the removal of crystal violet dye under same experimental conditions. Additionally, it was also observed that use of this Ag-nanocomposite as adsorbent helped in achieving about 97.2 % removal of crystal violet dye from the effluent solution.
Keywords: Ag-nanoparticle; Nanocomposite; Crystal violet; Dye reduction; Azadirachta indica

Magnetic phase evolution and particle size estimation study on nanocrystalline Mg–Mn ferrites by K. B. Modi; N. H. Vasoya; V. K. Lakhani; T. K. Pathak (11-17).
The nanocrystalline spinel ferrite compositions of Mg x Mn1−xFe2O4 (x = 0.0, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.5) system have been synthesized by the chemical co-precipitation route. The structural and magnetic properties have been studied by means of X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Mossbauer spectroscopic measurements. 57Fe Mossbauer spectra of three specimens, as prepared, annealed at 200 °C and sintered at 1,100 °C, of the studied compositions are recorded and analyzed to study the magnetic phase evolution. The Mossbauer spectra of as-prepared samples show a paramagnetic doublet, annealed samples exhibit simultaneous presence of a central paramagnetic doublet superimposed on two broad magnetic sextets while spectra for sintered samples show two well-resolved Zeeman split sextets corresponding to the Fe3+ ions at the tetrahedral sites and the other due to the Fe3+ ions at the octahedral sites of the spinel lattice along with presence of central doublet. The particle size estimated from the probability versus hyperfine magnetic field distribution curve is in agreement with those determine from XRD and TEM analysis, validates the method employed.
Keywords: Nano ferrite materials; Magnetic properties; Mossbauer spectroscopy

An optimization control has been demonstrated to obtain carbon nanotubes having specific diameter distribution, length, homogeneity, and yield during its growth by thermal chemical vapor deposition technique under atmospheric pressure. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were grown on silicon wafer where a predeposition of iron catalyst of 2 nm thickness was made by sputtering. The growth was conducted under two variable parameters, i.e., flow rate and flow duration. Argon and hydrogen mixture was used for pretreatment of catalyst and as etching gas, and acetylene as a carbon precursor. In-depth analysis shows that increase in flow rate from 10 to 50 sccm resulted in increase in the concentration of amorphous carbon, CNTs diameter range and decrease in length, we found best result at 20 sccm flow rate of acetylene gas. On the other hand, as we varied flow duration from 6 to 14 min, with keeping flow rate of acetylene 20 sccm constant, dense homogeneous growth of horizontal CNTs network plus an increase in length and diameter range were observed. An optimization of flow rate and flow duration is presented here to obtain a selective diameter distribution and length as expected by this growth technique. Atomic force microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy were used to investigate the samples’ morphologies in support of the observations made.
Keywords: Carbon nanotubes; Chemical vapor deposition; FESEM; Raman spectroscopy; AFM

The effect of thermal and mass stratification on mixed convection boundary layer flow over a vertical flat plate embedded in a porous medium saturated by a nanofluid has been investigated. The vertical plate is maintained at uniform and constant heat, mass and nanoparticle fluxes, and the behavior of the porous medium is described by the Darcy model. The model considered for nanofluids incorporates the effects of Brownian motion and thermophoresis. In addition, the thermal energy equations include regular diffusion and cross-diffusion terms. A suitable coordinate transformation is introduced, and the obtained system of non-similar, coupled and non-linear partial differential equations is solved numerically. The influence of pertinent parameters on the non-dimensional velocity, temperature, concentration and nanoparticle volume fraction are discussed. In addition, the variation of heat, mass and nanoparticle transfer rates at the plate are exhibited graphically for different values of physical parameters.
Keywords: Mixed convection; Nanofluid; Thermal stratification; Solutal stratification; Brownian motion; Thermophoresis

Gold nanoparticles assisted characterization of amine functionalized polystyrene multiwell plate and glass slide surfaces by Gunasekaran Dharanivasan; Thangavelu Rajamuthuramalingam; Denison Michael Immanuel Jesse; Nagappan Rajendiran; Krishnan Kathiravan (39-50).
We demonstrated citrate-capped gold nanoparticles assisted characterization of amine functionalized polystyrene plate and glass slide surfaces through AuNPs staining method. The effect of AuNPs concentration on the characterization of amine modified surfaces was also studied with different concentration of AuNPs (ratios 1.0–0.0). 3-Aminopropylyl triethoxy silane has been used as amine group source for the surface modification. The interactions of AuNPs on modified and unmodified surfaces were investigated using atomic force microscopy and the dispersibility, and the aggregation of AuNPs was analyzed using UV–visible spectrophotometer. Water contact angle measurement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to further confirmation of amine modified surfaces. The aggregation of AuNPs in modified multiwell plate leads to the color change from red to purple and they are found to be adsorped on the modified surfaces. Aggregation and adsorption of AuNPs on the modified surfaces through the electrostatic interactions and the hydrogen bonds were revealed by XPS analysis. Remarkable results were found even in the very low concentration of AuNPs (ratio 0.2). This AuNPs staining method is simple, cost-effective, less time consuming, and required very low concentration of AuNPs. These results can be read out through the naked eye without the help of sophisticated equipments.
Keywords: Polystyrene multiwell plate; Glass slides; Amine functionalization; Gold nanoparticles interaction

Erratum to: Gold nanoparticles assisted characterization of amine functionalized polystyrene multiwell plate and glass slide surfaces by Gunasekaran Dharanivasan; Thangavelu Rajamuthuramalingam; Denison Michael Immanuel Jesse; Nagappan Rajendiran; Krishnan Kathiravan (51-52).

In the present study, nanostructuring effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on electrochemical properties of coal tar pitch (CTP) based carbon foam (CFoam) was investigated. The different weight fractions of MWCNTs were mixed with CTP and foam was developed from the mixture of CTP and MWCNTs by sacrificial template technique and heat treated at 1,400 and 2,500 °C in inert atmosphere. These foams were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and potentiostat PARSTAT for cyclic voltammetry. It was observed that, bulk density of CFoam increases with increasing MWCNTs content and decreases after certain amount. The MWCNTs influence the morphology of CFoam and increase the width of ligaments as well as surface area. During the heat treatment, stresses exerting at MWCNTs/carbon interface accelerate ordering of the graphene layer which have positive effect on the electrochemical properties of CFoam. The current density increases from 475 to 675 mA/cm2 of 1,400 °C heat treated and 95 to 210 mA/cm2 of 2,500 °C heat-treated CFoam with 1 wt% MWCNTs. The specific capacitance was decreases with increasing the scan rate from 100 to 1,000 mV/s. In case of 1 % MWCNTs content CFoam the specific capacitance at the scan rate 100 mV/s was increased from 850 to 1,250 μF/cm2 and 48 to 340 μF/cm2 of CFoam heat treated at 1,400 °C and 2,500 °C respectively. Thus, the higher value surface area and current density of MWCNTs-incorporated CFoam heat treated to 1,400 °C can be suitable for lead acid battery electrode with improved charging capability.
Keywords: Carbon foam; Multi-walled carbon nanotubes; Surface area; Electrical conductivity; Electrochemical properties

The development of eco-friendly alternative to chemical synthesis of metal nanoparticles is of great challenge among researchers. The present study aimed to investigate the biological synthesis, characterization, antimicrobial study and synergistic effect of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles against clinical pathogens using Pichia fermentans JA2. The extracellular biosynthesis of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles was investigated using Pichia fermentans JA2 isolated from spoiled fruit pulp bought in Vellore local market. The crystalline and stable metallic nanoparticles were characterized evolving several analytical techniques including UV–visible spectrophotometer, X-ray diffraction pattern analysis and FE-scanning electron microscope with EDX-analysis. The biosynthesized metallic nanoparticles were tested for their antimicrobial property against medically important Gram positive, Gram negative and fungal pathogenic microorganisms. Furthermore, the biosynthesized nanoparticles were also evaluated for their increased antimicrobial activities with various commercially available antibiotics against clinical pathogens. The biosynthesized silver nanoparticles inhibited most of the Gram negative clinical pathogens, whereas zinc oxide nanoparticles were able to inhibit only Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The combined effect of standard antibiotic disc and biosynthesized metallic nanoparticles enhanced the inhibitory effect against clinical pathogens. The biological synthesis of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles is a novel and cost-effective approach over harmful chemical synthesis techniques. The metallic nanoparticles synthesized using Pichia fermentans JA2 possess potent inhibitory effect that offers valuable contribution to pharmaceutical associations.
Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; EDX-SEM; Metallic nanoparticlesPichia fermentans JA2

Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (Ag Nps) was carried out using methanol leaves extract of L. reticulata. Ag Nps were characterized based on the observations of UV–visible spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. These Ag Nps were tested for antimicrobial activity by agar well diffusion method against different pathogenic microorganisms and antioxidant activity was performed using DPPH assay. Further, the in vitro cytotoxic effects of Ag Nps were screened against HCT15 cancer cell line and viability of tumor cells was confirmed using MTT ((3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, a yellow tetrazole)) assay. The nuclear condensation was studied using the propidium iodide-staining method. The color change from green to dark brown and the absorbance peak at about 420 nm indicated the formation of nanoparticles. XRD pattern showed characteristic peaks indexed to the crystalline planes (111), (200) and (220) of face-centered cubic silver. The nanoparticles were of spherical shape with varying sizes ranging from 50 to 70 nm. Biosynthesized Ag Nps showed potent antibacterial activity and effective radical scavenging activity. MTT assay revealed a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability. Microscopic observations showed distinct cellular morphological changes indicating unhealthy cells, whereas the control appeared normal. Increase in the number of propidium iodide positive cells were observed in maximum concentration. Methanolic leaf extract of L. reticulata acts as an excellent capping agent for the formation of silver nanoparticles and demonstrates immense biological activities. Hence, these Ag NPs can be used as antibacterial, antioxidant as well as cytotoxic agent in treating many medical complications.
Keywords: Leptadenia reticulata ; Nanoparticles; Green synthesis; TEM; XRD; Biological activities

Furosemide-functionalized nanoferrite was synthesized and characterized by various analytical techniques. The furosemide-functionalized ferrite was used to settle down the starch particles under three different pH. Thus, obtained starch/Fe3O4 nanocomposites were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The sedimentation velocity of starch in the presence of furosemide-functionalized Fe3O4 was critically compared with the available literature value and the results are discussed in detail. The high sedimentation velocity of starch under the influence of gravitational force and the external magnetic force is studied. The starch-coated ferrites exhibited the lower vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) value. This novel research work will bring out a new methodology in the field of starch materials.
Keywords: Synthesis; Characterization; Functionalization; Starch; Sedimentation

Thermal decomposition of AP/HTPB propellants in presence of Zn nanoalloys by Shalini Chaturvedi; Pragnesh N. Dave; Nikul N. Patel (93-98).
Composite solid propellants were prepared with and without nanoalloys (Zn–Cu, Zn–Ni, Zn–Fe), where nanoalloys are used as catalyst. Catalytic properties of these nanomaterials measured on ammonium perchlorate/hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene propellant by thermogravimetric analysis and differential thermal analysis. Both experimental results show enhancement in the thermal decomposition of propellants in presence of nanoalloys. In differential thermal analysis method, experiments had done at three heating rates, β1 = 5°, β2 = 10°, β3 = 15° per minute. Calculation of activation energy of high temperature decomposition step was done by using following Kissinger equation. Zn–Cu was found to be the best.
Keywords: Propellants; Ammonium perchlorate; Burning rate; Activation energy; Thermal decomposition

Biologically synthesized nanoparticles have been widely used in the field of medicine. The present study reports the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Abrus precatorius leaf extract with silver nitrate solution as reducing agent. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were analyzed through UV–Visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, atomic force microscopy and Fourier transform infrared. The synthesized silver nanoparticles were disk shaped with an average size of 19 nm. These silver nanoparticles were evaluated for antibacterial activity. The diameter of inhibition zones around the disk of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureusare resistant to silver nanoparticles, whereas Escherichia coli and Bacillus thuringiensis are susceptible when compared with the other two species. The results were compared with the ciprofloxacin-positive control and silver nitrate. It is concluded that the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles is very fast, easy, cost-effective and eco-friendly and without any side effects.
Keywords: Abrus precatorius ; Antibacterial activity; Biological synthesis

The physical properties of ferrites are very sensitive to microstructure, which in turn critically depends on the manufacturing process. Lithium ferrite is synthesized by milling process. The powder was annealed at four different temperatures 600, 800, 1,000 and 1,200 °C. The powder annealed at 600 °C has the spinel structure with some of α-Fe2O3, while the powders annealed at ≥800 °C formed in single-phase cubic spinel structure. Particle size of lithium ferrite is in the range of 26–70 nm, and is dependent on the annealing temperature. The saturation magnetization increased from 22 to 85 emu/g and the coercivity decreases from 124 to 4 Oe with increase in the annealing temperature. The dielectric constant (ε’), dielectric loss (tan δ) and ac conductivity (σac) were measured at room temperature as a function of frequency. The results of dielectric properties were explained in terms of Koops phenomenological theory.
Keywords: Li-ferrite; Milling; Annealing temperature; Magnetization; Conductivity

Identification of current transport mechanism in Al2O3 thin films for memory applications by Sivaramakrishnan Ramesh; Shibesh Dutta; Balakrishnan Shankar; Sundar Gopalan (115-123).
The effect of oxygen anneal on the electrical characteristics, especially on the current transport mechanism, of Al2O3 films in the thickness range of 10–30 nm was examined in detail. The analyses were performed at electric fields of ≤2.5 MV/cm to effectively address the reliability of Al2O3-based devices operating in the low electric field regime. The general conduction mechanism equations were used to simulate the expected current density (J) values for a given electric field (E) range. The characteristic linear plots of the conduction mechanisms were then used to compare the experimental and simulated data to identify the most probable mechanism occurring in the dielectric. Parameters like barrier height and activation energy were extracted from the fit. It was found that oxygen anneal has profound effects on the electrical properties of Al2O3 films, with annealed films demonstrating a different conduction mechanism than their unannealed counterparts, along with significant improvement in the leakage current and barrier height. This kind of analyses will help optimize the process conditions for Al2O3 deposition and provide an optimal range for device operation, thus improving the reliability of Al2O3 films for applications in CMOS logic and Flash memory.
Keywords: Current transport mechanism; Thin films; Effect of anneal; CMOS logic application

Efficiency of sensitizing nano-titania with organic dyes and peroxo complexes by Elena Savinkina; Lubov Obolenskaya; Galina Kuzmicheva (125-133).
A new method of sensitizing titania by treatment of the reaction mixture with Methylene Blue, Methyl Red or hydrogen peroxide is developed; the sensitizer was introduced into the reaction mixture while synthesizing nanosize TiO2 from titanyl sulfate. The samples prepared by this method are compared to the samples prepared by cold impregnation of Methylene Blue, Methyl Red or hydrogen peroxide on titania, pre-synthesized by sulfate method, or commercial Degussa P25 and Hombikat UV100. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction; their photocatalytic activity was studied in the model reaction of Methyl Orange decomposition in aqueous solution under UV and visible light. The highest photocatalytic activity under visible light was found for titania, sensitized with titanium peroxo complexes by the new method. It is also active for photodegradation of salicylic acid under visible light.
Keywords: Nanoparticles; Titania; Sensitization; Dyes; Titanium peroxo complexes