The growth of silver nanoparticles, the activation energy for silver particle growth, and the release of silver species in heat treated SiO2-Ag composite powders are investigated. The silver particle growth is controlled by heat treatment for 75 min of the as-synthesized SiO2-Ag composite powder at 300-800 °C. During heat treatment the mean size of the Ag particles increases from 10 nm up to 61 nm with increasing temperature, however, the particle size distribution widens and the mean size increases with increasing heat treatment temperature. Based on X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies, silver particles are crystalline and in a metallic state after annealing in all SiO2-Ag composite powders. The growth of Ag particles is suggested to take place via diffusion and Ostwald ripening. The activation energy for particle growth was determined as 0.14 eV. The dissolution of silver in aqueous solutions from the SiO2-Ag composites heat treated, at 300 °C, 600 °C, and 700 °C, was investigated by varying pH and temperature. The dissolution was reduced in all conditions with increasing silver particle size, i.e., when the total surface area of Ag particles is reduced. It is suggested that the dissolution of silver from the composite powders can conveniently be adjusted by controlling the Ag particle size by the heat treatment of the composite powder.
- Controlled release
- Particle growth