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Synthesis and Characterisation of Silver Nanoparticles using High Electrical Charge Density and High Viscosity Organic Polymer

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Gulu University, P.O. Box 166, Gulu, UGANDA
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, UGANDA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 1, Issue (4), Pages 18-21, July,18 (2011)


In this study, we present a facile and cost-effective method for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs)using an organic polymer, hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC). On the introduction of 0.1% HEC(degree of polymerisation 500) into the reaction mixture, colour changes are observed at different temperatures (30°C-90°C). The prepared samples were characterised using a scanning electron microscope, SEM (Type: JOEL 30-kV), and an X-ray powder diffractometer (Type: Siemens AXS D5005). The UV – Vis spectra were recorded using a Shimadzu (UV – 1601) spectrometer. The X-ray patterns indicated a product comprising a mixture of silver (Ag) and small amounts of silver(I) oxide (Ag2O). The UV-Vis spectra indicated peak positions at around 420nm, consistent with the formation of silver nanoclusters, (Ag)n, made up of very low dimensional nanoparticles. SEM images of the samples at 80°C exhibited the existence of very small and uniformly spherical nanoparticles with sizes <30 nm.Owing to the high electrical charge density and large viscosity of the HEC polymer, particle sizes are restricted. Consequently, the product will contain mono-dispersed Ag-NPs. High yields of Ag-NPs were obtained in relatively short periods of time and at low temperatures. The study therefore would provide a simple, adaptable and cost-effective technique of scientific as well as industrial applicability.


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