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Green Synthesis of SnO2 Nanoparticles from Croton Macrostachyus Leaf Extract

Nanotechnology has revolutionized various industries, prompting the exploration of sustainable methods for nanoparticle (NP) synthesis. In a recent article published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from India and Ethiopia have presented the phytosynthesis of tin-oxide (SnO2) NPs using Croton macrostachyus leaf extract, aiming to enhance photocatalytic activity under visible light. 

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By leveraging the bioactive compounds in plant extracts, the research aligns with the growing interest in green synthesis approaches for nanomaterial production.

Background

The demand for sustainable NP synthesis methods stems from environmental concerns and the need to reduce the ecological footprint of chemical processes. Plant extracts have emerged as valuable resources for NP production, offering advantages such as abundance, affordability, and biocompatibility.

The utilization of Croton macrostachyus leaf extract as a reducing agent in SnO2 NP synthesis represents a novel approach in green nanotechnology. By harnessing the inherent properties of plant extracts, this study seeks to address the demand for eco-friendly synthesis methods and pave the way for tailored NP properties with enhanced functionality.

The Current Study

The synthesis of SnO2 NPs from Croton macrostachyus leaf extract was carried out through a series of controlled steps to ensure the reproducibility and quality of the NPs.

Bioactive compounds were extracted from the dried leaves using an aqueous solvent. A known quantity of the dried leaves was added to distilled water in a ratio optimized through preliminary experiments to maximize extraction efficiency. The mixture was subjected to heat under controlled conditions to facilitate the release of phytochemicals from the plant material.

The extracted leaf extract was mixed with the tin salt solution in a controlled environment. The ratio between the plant extract and tin salt concentration was optimized to influence the size and stability of the SnO2 NPs. Various reaction parameters, such as temperature, pH, and reaction time, were controlled to ensure the reproducibility of the synthesis process and the desired properties of the NPs.

The synthesized SnO2 NPs were characterized using a combination of analytical techniques to assess their size, structure, and composition.

UV–visible spectroscopy analyzed the absorbance properties of the NPs and confirmed the shift toward the visible spectrum. X-Ray diffraction (XRD) analysis determined the crystal structure and phase purity of the NPs. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) visualized the morphology and size distribution of the NPs, while energy-dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDX) analyzed the elemental composition. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) identified functional groups present in the NPs.

Results and Discussion

XRD patterns confirmed the formation of crystalline SnO2 NPs with distinct peaks corresponding to the characteristic crystal planes. The presence of well-defined peaks indicated high crystallinity, essential for their functional properties in various applications.

SEM images revealed the presence of fine flakes with tiny agglomerate structures, indicating the successful synthesis of NPs with controlled morphology. The uniform distribution of NPs and the absence of significant agglomeration underscored the effectiveness of the green synthesis approach using Croton macrostachyus leaf extract.

EDX spectra confirmed the composition of SnO2 in the NPs, with characteristic peaks corresponding to tin and oxygen. The absence of peaks corresponding to other elements indicated high purity, which is essential for their application in photocatalysis and other fields.

The FTIR spectrum revealed characteristic peaks corresponding to the organic compounds derived from the Croton macrostachyus leaf extract. The interaction between these organic compounds and the SnO2 NPs plays a crucial role in stabilizing the NPs and influencing their properties, such as photocatalytic activity and stability.

The energy band gap of the synthesized NPs was determined to be 3.03 eV, 2.71 eV, 2.61 eV, and 2.41 eV for different sample ratios. The reduced band gap energy in the visible spectrum indicates the potential for enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light, opening new possibilities for environmental remediation and energy conversion applications.

Conclusion

The photosynthesis of SnO2 NPs from Croton macrostachyus leaf extract represents a significant advancement in green nanotechnology. By harnessing the unique properties of plant extracts, this study demonstrates the feasibility of producing NPs with enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light.

The characterization of the synthesized NPs provides valuable insights into their properties, paving the way for potential applications in environmental remediation and renewable energy sectors. This research underscores the importance of sustainable synthesis methods in nanotechnology and advocates for the continued exploration of eco-friendly approaches for NP production.

Journal Reference

Tasisa, YE., Sarma, TK., Sahu, TK., et al. (2024). Photosynthesis and characterization of tin-oxide nanoparticles (SnO2-NPs) from Croton macrostachyus leaf extract and its application under visible light photocatalytic activities. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-60633-2

Dr. Noopur Jain

Written by

Dr. Noopur Jain

Dr. Noopur Jain is an accomplished Scientific Writer based in the city of New Delhi, India. With a Ph.D. in Materials Science, she brings a depth of knowledge and experience in electron microscopy, catalysis, and soft materials. Her scientific publishing record is a testament to her dedication and expertise in the field. Additionally, she has hands-on experience in the field of chemical formulations, microscopy technique development and statistical analysis.    

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