Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 787–796 | Cite as

Preparation of AgBr Nanoparticles in Microemulsions Via Reaction of AgNO3 with CTAB Counterion

Original Paper


Nanoparticles of AgBr were prepared by precipitating AgBr in the water pools of microemulsions consisting of CTAB, n-butanol, isooctane and water. An aqueous solution of AgNO3 added to the microemulsion was the source of Ag+ ions. The formation of AgBr nanoparticles in microemulsions through direct reaction with the surfactant counterion is a novel approach aimed at decreasing the role of intermicellar nucleation on nanoparticle formation for rapid reactions. The availability of the surfactant counterion in every reverse micelle and the rapidity of the reaction with the counterion trigger nucleation within individual reverse micelles. The effect of the following variables on the particle size and size distribution was investigated: the surfactant and cosurfactant concentrations, moles of AgNO3 added, and water to surfactant mole ratio, R. High concentration of the surfactant or cosurfactant, or high water content of the microemulsion favored intermicellar nucleation and resulted in the formation of large particles with broad size distribution, while high amounts of AgNO3 favored nucleation within individual micelles and resulted in small nanoparticles with narrow size distribution. A blue shift in the UV absorption threshold corresponding to a decrease in the particle size was generally observed. Notably, the variation of the absorption peak size with the nanoparticle size was opposite to those reported by us in previous studies using different surfactants.

Key words

nanoparticles microemulsions photosensitive quantum dots surfactant counterion CTAB 


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The authors thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia of Spain (project 2004/PC059) for their financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Petroleum EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiagoSpain

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