Elaboration of thin nanocomposite layers based on Ag nanopartiles embedded in silica for controlled biocide properties

Abstract : Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) because of their strong biocide activity are widely used in health-care sector, food industry and various consumer products. Their huge surface-volume ratio enhances the silver release compared to the bulk material, leading to an increased toxicity for microorganisms sensitive to this element. This work presents an assessment of the biocide properties on algal photosynthesis of small (<20 nm) AgNPs embedded in silica layers. Two physical approaches were used to elaborate these nanocomposites: (i) low energy ion beam synthesis and (ii) combined silver sputtering and plasma polymerization. These techniques allow elaboration of a single layer of AgNPs embedded in silica films at defined nanometer distances (from 0 to 7 nm) beneath the free surface. The structural and optical properties of the nanocomposites were studied by transmission electron microscopy, reflectance spectroscopy and ellipsometry. This last technique, coupled to modelling based on the quasi-static approximation of the classical Maxwell-Garnett formalism, allowed detection of small variations over the size and density of the embedded AgNPs. The silver release from the nanostructures after immersion in buffered water was measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The short-term toxicity of Ag to the photosynthesis of green algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, was assessed by fluorometry. Embedding AgNPs reduces their interactions with the buffered water, protecting the AgNPs from fast oxidation. The release of bio-available silver (impacting on the algal photosynthesis) is controlled by the depth at which AgNPs are located for the given host silica matrix. This provides a procedure to tailor the biocide effect of nanocomposites containing AgNPs. By coupling the controlled antimicrobial properties of the embedded AgNPs and their quality as plasmonic antenna, these coatings can be used to detect and prevent the first stages of biofilm formation. Hence, the last part of this work is dedicated to a study of the structural stability and adsorption properties of Discosoma recombinant red (DsRed) fluorescent proteins deposited on these dielectric surfaces with perspectives of development of SERS devices.
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Alessandro Pugliara. Elaboration of thin nanocomposite layers based on Ag nanopartiles embedded in silica for controlled biocide properties. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016TOU30324⟩. ⟨tel-01701079⟩

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