Silver nanoparticles are known for their catalytic and plasmonic properties, but the most widespread use of nano-silver is due to its antibacterial properties. The nanoparticles are attached to the cell membrane and drastically disturb its proper function. They are able to penetrate the cell and can have an interaction with DNA, inhibiting cell division.

In the reference article the effect of the nanoparticle size is investigated. They show that nanoparticles with a diameter between 1-10 nm have a direct interaction with bacteria and are the most active. The particles used show {111} facets associated with a high reactivity.


Basic data

NameSilver (Ag)
Configuration5s1 4d10
Magnetic typeDiamagnetic
Melting point962 ℃
Boiling point2162 ℃

Key trends at the nanoscale


The pie chart presented here is based on the distribution of research literature across various fields of application research over the period 1992 to 2017. The value listed is the number of papers discussing Silver related to nanoparticles, sorted by application field. This gives an indication which applications are being or have been researched and where the core interest is. However, the distribution does not correct for the total publications in a given application field. So, a high score for a given application field indicates there is considerable interest in the element in that field, but it may also mean the field itself has considerable more publications than other fields. Therefore, the pie chart gives a general overview only. The application fields themselves are discussed in more detail on our Nanoparticles page.

Additionally, the total number of publications provides some insight in the amount of research into Silver used in nanoparticles in general. Typically, a well-researched element will show 1000 or more publications over the 1992-2017 period.

Alloys and composites

The graph below presents an analysis of literature on core-shell, alloy and composite particles with silver as a component of such nanoparticles. It shows possible combinations for alloy or composite nanoparticles and reflects research interest during the 1992-2017 period.