The development of reliable, eco-friendly processes for the synthesis of nanomaterials is an important aspect of nanotechnology. One approach that shows immense potential is based on the biosynthesis of nanoparticles using microorganisms such as bacteria. In this report, we demonstrate the extracellular biosynthesis and complete characterization of metal sulfide (PbS, ZnS, MnS and NiS) nanoparticles using fungus, Fusarium oxysporum. We observed that the exposure of aqueous solution of 1 mM metal sulfate to fungus Fusarium oxysporum resulted in the formation of highly stable technologically important metal sulfide semiconductor nanoparticles. Fusarium oxysporum synthesizes lead sulfide and zinc sulfide nanoparticles of fractal type structure whereas manganese sulfide and nickel sulfide nanoparticles are of variable polydispersed morphology. The variable morphology may be due to the dissimilar interaction of metal sulfide nanoparticles with capping proteins secreted by the fungus in solution. The nanoparticles solution is found to be extremely stable with little evidence of aggregation even after a month of storage. The long term stability of the nanoparticles is due to the proteins secreted by fungus in the nanoparticle solution which bind to the surface of the nanoparticles and thus prevent aggregation.
Keywords: Biosynthesis, enzymes, fungi, metal sulfide, nanoparticles.