Enhanced formation of silver nanoparticles in Ag+-NOM-iron(II, III) systems and antibacterial activity studies. Academic Article uri icon


  • This work reports the role of iron redox pair (Fe(3+)/Fe(2+)) in the formation of naturally occurring silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the aquatic environment. The results showed that Fe(3+) or Fe(2+) ions in the mixtures of Ag(+) and natural organic matter enhanced the formation of AgNPs. The formation of AgNPs depended on pH and types of organic matter. Increase in pH enhanced the formation of AgNPs, and humic acids as ligands showed higher formation of AgNPs compared to fulvic acids. The observed results were described by considering the potentials of redox pairs of silver and iron species and the possible species involved in reducing silver ions to AgNPs. Dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy measurements of AgNPs revealed mostly bimodal size distribution with decrease in size of AgNPs due to iron species in the reaction mixture. Minimum inhibitory concentration of AgNPs needed to inhibit the growth of various bacterial species suggested the role of surfaces of tested Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Stability study of AgNPs, formed in Ag(+)-humic acid/fulvic acids-Fe(3+) mixtures over a period of several months showed high stability of the particles with significant increase in surface plasmon resonance peak. The environmental implications of the results in terms of fate, transport, and ecotoxicity of organic-coated AgNPs are briefly presented.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Adegboyega, N. F., Sharma, V. K., Siskova, K. M., Vecerova, R., Kolar, M., Zboil, R., & Gardea-Torresdey, J. L.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Adegboyega, Nathaniel F||Sharma, Virender K||Siskova, Karolina M||Vecerova, Renata||Kolar, Milan||Zboƙil, Radek||Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

publication date

  • March 2014