Morphology-directed synthesis of ZnO nanostructures and their antibacterial activity

Meghana Ramani, S. Ponnusamy, Chellamuthu Muthamizhchelvan, Joseph Cullen, Satheesh Krishnamurthy, Enrico Marsili

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures of various morphologies were produced in an aqueous system, with pyridine as a shape-directing agent. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) revealed hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure. Variation in surface morphology was analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Changes in surface morphology were attributed to the absence of steric stabilization in pyridine during synthesis process. Pyridine concentration affected morphology and optical properties. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) confirmed the presence/absence of pyridine on the surface of ZnO nanostructures (ZnO-NSs). Optical measurements carried out using UV-visible spectrophotometer (UV-vis) and photoluminescence (PL) indicated the presence of defects. All the samples exhibited two PL peaks, at 350-370. nm and 560-624. nm. Variation in the intensities of PL peaks corresponded to the changes in the surface morphology from nanoparticles to rods and origin of deep-level defect luminescence is attributed to surface recombination. The toxicity of the nanostructures was tested on model Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens. Smaller nanorods were most toxic among the nanostructures tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibacterial activity
  • Nanostructures
  • Oxygen vacancies
  • Surface defects
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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