Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) are successfully synthesized through microwave heating by using Theobroma cacao L.
bean shell extract as a stabilizing and capping agent. Response surface methodology is used to obtain optimal synthesis conditions. The effect of microwave power, irradiation time and amount of Na2
are evaluated on crystalline size by X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Z
-potential by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) using a central composite design (CCD). Optimal synthesis conditions are determined as 15.6 min, 788.6 W and 0.14 g of sodium selenite using 50 mL of Theobroma cacao
L. bean shell extract. The successful biosynthesis of SeNPs is confirmed by UV-visible and Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic analyses. The XRD pattern and Raman spectra show the presence of trigonal and amorphous synthesized SeNPs. Spherical SeNPs are observed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) with a particle size of 1–3 nm in diameter, at least one order of magnitude lower than those previously reported. The obtained SeNPs can be stable up to 55 days at 4 °C. Additionally, the SeNPs show an excellent antioxidant performance by the 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) methods, with potential application in different sectors, such as food, medical and pharmaceutical.
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