Tunable photoluminescence properties of selenium nanoparticles: biogenic versus chemogenic synthesis

Alessandro Presentato, Belinda Heyne, Raymond J. Turner, Elena Piacenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Various technological and biomedical applicationsrely on the ability of materials to emit light (photoluminescence[PL]), and, among them, metal nanoparticles(NPs) and semi-conductor Quantum Dots (QDs) representideal candidates as sensing probes and imaging tools, portrayingbetter PL features than conventional organic dyes.However,theknowledgeofPLbehaviorofsemiconductorNPs– i.e., selenium; SeNPs – is still in its infancy, especially forthose synthesized by microorganisms. Considering theessential role played by biogenic SeNPs as antimicrobial,anticancer, and antioxidant agents, or food supplements,their PL properties must be explored to take full advantage ofthem as eco-friendly and versatile tools. Here, PL features ofSeNPs produced by the Se-tolerant StenotrophomonasmaltophiliaSeITE02 strain, compared with chemogenic ones, areinvestigated, highlighting the PL dependency on the NP size.Indeed, PL emission shifted from indigo-blue (emissionwavelength λem 400–450 nm) to green-yellow (λem 480–570 nm) and orange-red (λem 580–700 nm) for small (ca.50 nm) and big (ca. 100 nm) SeNPs respectively, revealing theversatility of an environmental bacterial isolate to synthesizediverse PL probes. Besides, biogenic SeNPs show PL lifetimecomparable to those of the most used fluorophores, supportingtheir potential application as markers for (bio)imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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