Technical potential of nano silver

The technical potential of nanosilver is extraordinarily high. The high potential stems from its excellent antimicrobial properties, its thermal and electrical conductivity as well as its special optical properties. This opens up important application fields, ranging from flexible displays to antimicrobial equipment for hospital textiles, wound dressings and wall panels.

Antimicrobial effect of nano silver

The antimicrobial effect of silver is based on its activity towards a wide range of – even multi-resistant – bacteria, yeasts, fungi and viruses. The effect is based on the formation of silver ions (Ag+) at the surface of silver nanoparticles. The silver ions act on unicellular organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi and viruses, in various manners according to the current state of knowledge. See frequently asked questions for more information.

Electrical and heat conductivity

Silver is the element with the highest heat and electrical conductivity in the periodic table [8]. In the form of tiny nano silver, these properties can be used in a material-saving manner for electronics, e.g. for transparent but electrically conductive films.

Optical effects

Silver and gold nanoparticles have special optical properties. Both precious metals are highly efficient in light absorption and scattering at a nano scale. These properties may be used for sensors or in spectroscopy [9].

Catalytic activity

The high surface of silver-nanoparticles as compared to their volume offers a high surface reactivity that can be used for adsorption and catalysis. The silver nanoparticles are often applied to a carrier material [11] and used e.g. in the chemical industry.


  1. N. Akaighe et al., Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45, 3895-3901.
  2. Y.G. Yin et al., ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 7910-7919.
  3. R.D. Glover et al., ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 8950-8957.
  4. J.L. Gardea-Torresdey et al., Langmuir, 2003, 19, 1357-1361.
  5. U. Nickel et al., Langmuir, 2000, 16, 9087-9091.
  6. N. Shirtcliffe et al., J. Colloid Interface Sci., 1999, 211, 122-129.
  7. Saito, Y. et al., Langmuir, 2003, 19, 6857-6861.
  8. N. Kanani, Galvanotechnik, Hanser Verlag, 2009, 697-699.
  9. G. Doria et al., Sensors, 2012, 12, 1657-1687.
  10. YJ. Oh, KH. Jeong, Adv. Mater., 2012, 24, 2234-2237.
  11. S.J.Yu et al., Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013, 15, 78-92.