Silver nanoparticles have many applications including as a bactericide in clothing. This leads to their being released into the environment. These silver nanoparticles are believed to have lower toxic effects than silver in solution (ionic silver). As a result, measurement scientists need to be able to measure both these species in environmental samples to find the relative concentrations of each species in water bodies, and develop more detailed understanding of the associated toxicity risk.
Scientists at LGC, funded by the Government Chemist Programme Advisory Function, have demonstrated the feasibility of a novel, cutting-edge method which will enable environmental scientists to carry out such measurements in the future.