Microbial toxicity of gallium- and indium-based oxide and arsenide nanoparticles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


III-V semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium arsenide (InAs) are increasingly used in the fabrication of electronic devices. There is a growing concern about the potential release of these materials into the environment leading to effects on public and environmental health. The waste effluents from the chemical mechanical planarization process could impact microorganisms in biological wastewater treatment systems. Currently, there is only limited information about the inhibition of gallium- and indium-based nanoparticles (NPs) on microorganisms. This study evaluated the acute toxicity of GaAs, InAs, gallium oxide (Ga2O3), and indium oxide (In2O3) particulates using two microbial inhibition assays targeting methanogenic archaea and the marine bacterium, Aliivibrio fischeri. GaAs and InAs NPs were acutely toxic towards these microorganisms; Ga2O3 and In2O3 NPs were not. The toxic effect was mainly due to the release of soluble arsenic species and it increased with decreasing particle size and with increasing time due to the progressive corrosion of the NPs in the aqueous bioassay medium. Collectively, the results indicate that the toxicity exerted by the arsenide NPs under environmental conditions will vary depending on intrinsic properties of the material such as particle size as well as on the dissolution time and aqueous chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-178
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020


  • Microtox
  • arsenic
  • dissolution
  • inhibition
  • methanogenesis
  • particle size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial toxicity of gallium- and indium-based oxide and arsenide nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this