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What are the similarities and differences between nano silver and silver ions?
Edit:Shangmeng Technology Wuxi Co., Ltd.   UpDate:2018-08-25

Nano-silver is a new type of fungicide with excellent performance. There are many different types of nano-silver products on the market. The naming is not very standard. Many manufacturers will be confused when they choose. Now the common problems of nano-silver products are analyzed as follows. for reference.

At present, nano silver antibacterial agents on the market can be basically divided into two types: elemental nano silver and complex silver ion solution.

The main differences are as follows:

Nano silver colloidal solution

Silver ion solution


Nano silver solution

Silver ion / complex silver / colloidal silver


Light yellow to dark brown, the higher the concentration, the darker the color,

Colorless transparent solution

Silver form

Elemental silver atom (Ag is 0)

Silver ion Ag+

Particle size

10-25 nm

Several angstroms (1 nm = 10 angstroms)

Whether nano materials



Bacteriostatic effect




safe and non-toxic

Sensitive, aquatic organisms sensitive to silver ions


safe and non-toxic

Colorless and transparent


Have color

(Cannot be diluted with tap water, it will precipitate with silver chloride in the water to remove silver chloride. It can be added to other complexing agents to make it insensitive to chloride ions.) It is easy to cause silver poisoning (skin surface spots), resulting in aquatic toxicity and poor safety.

main application

Antibacterial disinfection, medical equipment, textiles, coatings, industrial products, etc.

Antibacterial disinfectant spray, textile, coating

Production Process

Physical Processing / Chemical Synthesis / Microwave Radiation

Electrolysis, chemical synthesis

common problem

1: What is nanometer, what are the characteristics of nanosilver?

A: Nano is a unit of size, 1 nanometer = 10-9 meters, or 1 billionth of a meter. Materials with diameters less than 100 nanometers are generally referred to as nanomaterials. Materials in nanometer sizes have a number of special properties that are not found in the normal state of the material.

The characteristics of "nano silver" are:
1. Nano-silver is a "silver particle" composed of atomic structure, without charge, is a solid powder (particle);
2. Nano silver is a metallic silver element with a particle size of less than 100 nm;
3. The application of nanosilver is closely related to its true particle size and whether it has nano-effects ;

2: There are many nano silver products currently called, are they really nano silver?

A: At present, there are two types of products in the market called nano silver. One is true nano silver, which is elemental nano silver metal particles; the other is silver ion, which can not be called nano silver accurately.

The elemental nanosilver powder is black, and the solution (accurately referred to as suspension or colloidal solution-sol) is generally light yellow to dark brown, and the greater the concentration, the darker the color;

Transparent silver ion or complex silver solution should not be called nano silver. Silver exists in ionic form. It does not have the special properties of nano materials, but it still has excellent bactericidal properties.

3: Is there a difference in the bactericidal effect of nano silver and silver ions?

A: Based on the respective sterilization mechanism and usage and dosage, there is a bactericidal effect.

4: When do you choose nano silver, when do you choose silver ion solution?

A: Nano silver can be used in many fields such as sterilization, medical equipment, cosmetics, textiles, coatings, etc. As long as the product does not have color requirements, nano silver can be used.

Silver ion solution is generally used in the field of disinfection, textiles and coatings.

Silver ion products are avoided in aquatic organisms such as fish farming. To be used, the concentration should be kept to a low level.

5: How to measure nano silver?

A: The particle size and morphology of nanosilver can be measured by electron microscopy (TEM), and the concentration can be measured by ICP (plasma emission spectroscopy).

6: Is there a difference in the safety of nano silver and silver ions?

The acute oral toxicity test of elemental nano-silver , LD50>5000mg/kg, is an actual non-toxic grade; the LD50 of pure silver ion is much lower than the nano-silver LD50. However, from the actual product point of view, the actual use concentration of silver ions in silver ion products is very low, so the LD50 of the whole product is also greater than 5000mg/kg. For aquatic organisms, it is generally sensitive to silver ions, but nanosilver can be used.

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