Photochemical Synthesis of Ag and Au Nanoparticles Using a Thioxanthone Substituted Chitosan as Simultaneous Photoinitiator and Stabilizer

Silver (AgNPs) and gold (AuNPs) nanoparticles in aqueous solution were generated and stabilized using the 10-oxo-10H-dibenzene thiopyran-3-4-dicarboximide chitosan (TXICh) macrophotoinitiator. The photoinitiator and the nanoparticles in aqueous solution were characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Pure TXICh in aqueous solution forms self-assembled particles with diameter around 30 nm. AgNPs were prepared using TXICh in the presence and absence of triethanolamine (TEOH). During irradiation, a broad band in the range of 410-415 nm was observed, corresponding to the plasmon absorption, indicating the AgNPs formation. TEM images revealed that the AgNPs had spherical shape in the absence and presence of TEOH. The synthesis of AgNPs in the presence of TEOH occurred rapidly (maximum conversion reached after 15 min), whereas in its absence 4 hours were required. The AgNPs prepared with TXICh/TEOH presented smaller and more uniform nanoparticles size. AuNPs were also prepared using TXICh as photoinitiator/stabilizer system. These nanoparticles showed an intense surface plasmon band at 530 nm and the TEM images revealed spherical particles of around 4 nm. These studies indicate that TXICh can act not only as a photoinitiator, but also as a stabilizer in the AgNPs and AuNPs formation.