International journal of biological macromolecules

Lignosulfonate-stabilized selenium nanoparticles and their deposition on spherical silica.

PMID 28527991


We report a novel room-temperature synthesis of selenium nanoparticles, which for the first time uses lignosulfonate as a stabilizer. Various lignosulfonates obtained both from hardwood and softwood were tested. Selenium oxide was used as the precursor of zero-valent selenium. Three different reducers were tested - sodium borohydride, hydrazine and ascorbic acid - and the latter proved most effective in terms of the particle size and stability of the final colloid. The lignosulfonate-stabilized selenium nanoparticles had a negative zeta potential, dependent on pH, which for some lignosulfonates reached -50mV, indicating the excellent stability of the colloid. When spherical silica particles were introduced to the synthesis mixture, selenium nanoparticles were deposited on their surface. Additionally, star-like structures consisting of sharp selenium needles with silica cores were observed. After drying, the selenium-functionalized silica had a grey metallic hue. The method reported here is simple and cost-effective, and can be used for the preparation of large quantities of selenium colloids or the surface modification of other materials with selenium.