In this work, the biosynthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles from a leaf extract of Parkinsonia florida (P. florida) is reported. The P. florida leaf extract was analyzed by a phytochemical screening, by measuring the DPPH radical scavenging activity, and by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The phytochemical screening results indicated that biomolecules like carbohydrates, phenols, proteins, aminoacids, saponins, and flavonoids present in P. florida leaf extract might have participated in the chemical reduction of the metallic salts and further colloidal stabilization. The FT-IR results from leaf extract functional groups support the role of surface modification with the presence of residues of phenols, proteins, aminoacids, saponins, and flavonoids. The formation of metallic nanoparticles was confirmed by optical absorption spectroscopy with characteristic absorption bands at 550 nm and 430 nm, for gold and silver nanoparticles, respectively. Zeta potential for gold nanoparticles presents negative values in the range of-10 ± 1 to-16 ± 1 mV, depending on the amount of leaf extract used during the synthesis reaction. Similarly, zeta potential values for silver nanoparticles were in the range of-5 ± 1 to-16 ± 1 mV. STEM images revealed the average particles sizes in the range from 10 to 15 nm, and 10 to 57 nm, for gold and silver nanoparticles respectively. The silver nanoparticles presented good antibacterial activity, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
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