This work emphasizes the use of the silver decorative method to enhance the antibacterial activity of TiO2
and ZnO nanoparticles. These silver-decorated nanoparticles (hybrid nanoparticles) were synthesized using sodium borohydride as a reducing agent, with the weight ratio of Ag precursors/oxide nanoparticles = 1:30. The morphology and optical properties of these hybrid nanoparticles were investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The agar-well diffusion method was used to evaluate their antibacterial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus
and Escherichia coli
bacteria, with or without light irradiation. The TEM images indicated clearly that silver nanoparticles (AgNPs, 5–10 nm) were well deposited on the surface of nano-TiO2
particles (30–60 nm). In addition to this, bigger AgNPs (<20 nm) were dispersed on the surface of nano-ZnO particles (30–50 nm). XRD patterns confirmed the presence of AgNPs in both Ag-decorated TiO2
and Ag-decorated ZnO nanoparticles. UV-Vis spectra confirmed that the hybridization of Ag and oxide nanoparticles led to a shift in the absorption edge of oxide nanoparticles to the lower energy region (visible region). The antibacterial tests indicated that both oxide pure nanoparticles did not exhibit inhibitory effects against bacteria, with or without light irradiation. However, the presence of AgNPs in their hybrids, even at low content (<40 mg/mL), leads to a good antibacterial activity, and higher inhibition zones under light irradiation as compared to those in dark were observed.
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