Researchers at Jundi-Shapur University of Technology in southern Iran discovered a simple and cheap method to synthesize metallic oxide nanoparticles by using natural materials, and agricultural and nutritional wastes.
"Chitosan, which is a natural substance, was used in this research as the available raw material to produce zinc oxide nanoparticles through a thermal method (green synthesis method), which is the simplest procedure of synthesis," Shahram Barzegar, one of the researchers, told the news service of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council.
"Industries such as rubber, concrete, hygiene, tobacco, food, electronic, and bio-sensors are among the important industries that will experience a gigantic evolution with the result of this research," he continued.
Polysaccharide Chitosan is a biomaterial and is obtained from crab's shell. It is able to absorb metallic ions due to the presence of various functional groups. The researchers produced a hydrogel by carrying out chemical reactions and modifying the structure of Chitosan, dried it in an oven, and ground it into powder.
In order to produce zinc oxide nanoparticles, they poured some hydrogel in a solution of zinc chloride, and stirred it for a determined period of time. Then they froze and dried the hydrogel that contained zinc ion. Zinc oxide nanoparticles were finally produced by heating the dried mixture.
Also, in a bid to determine the size of the particles, XRD and TEM devices were used. The results showed that the obtained particles were smaller than 50 nm.
After carrying out this research, the feasibility study on using polysaccharide Chitosan as a nano-reactor in the synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles was studied, and nanoparticles smaller than 50 nm were synthesized by a thermal method. The method used in this research is simpler than the existing methods, and it requires simple and available raw materials.
This research has been published in detail in Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 117, pp. 1035-1040, 2010.
Source: Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council.