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Three strategies to stabilise nearly monodispersed silver nanoparticles in aqueous solution

Amadeus PZ Stevenson1, Duani Blanco Bea2, Sergi Civit3, Sonia Antoranz Contera14, Alberto Iglesias Cerveto2 and Sonia Trigueros14*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU, UK

2 Department of Materials, National Centre for Scientific Research, PO Box 6414, Avenida 25 and 158, Cubanacán, Playa, Havana, CP 12100, Cuba

3 Department of Statistics, University of Barcelona, Avenida Diagonal 645, Barcelona, 08028, Spain

4 Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine, Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3BD, UK

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:151  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-151

Published: 22 February 2012

Abstract

Silver nanoparticles are extensively used due to their chemical and physical properties and promising applications in areas such as medicine and electronics. Controlled synthesis of silver nanoparticles remains a major challenge due to the difficulty in producing long-term stable particles of the same size and shape in aqueous solution. To address this problem, we examine three strategies to stabilise aqueous solutions of 15 nm citrate-reduced silver nanoparticles using organic polymeric capping, bimetallic core-shell and bimetallic alloying. Our results show that these strategies drastically improve nanoparticle stability by distinct mechanisms. Additionally, we report a new role of polymer functionalisation in preventing further uncontrolled nanoparticle growth. For bimetallic nanoparticles, we attribute the presence of a higher valence metal on the surface of the nanoparticle as one of the key factors for improving their long-term stability. Stable silver-based nanoparticles, free of organic solvents, will have great potential for accelerating further environmental and nanotoxicity studies.

PACS: 81.07.-b; 81.16.Be; 82.70.Dd.

Keywords:
silver nanoparticles; stability; functionalisation; monodispersed; aging; toxicity.