Direct synthesis of silver nanoparticles in ionic liquid

  • Cíntia M. Corrêa
  • Marcos A. Bizeto
  • Fernanda F. Camilo
Research Paper


Ionic liquids have structural organization at nanoscale that can trigger the spontaneous ordering of structures in nanoscopic range. Due to this characteristic, several metal nanoparticles have been prepared in this media. In this paper, we describe the direct preparation of silver nanoparticles in the following imidazolium ionic liquids: 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, 1,2-dimethyl-3-butylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate, 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, and in citrate tetrabutylammonium, that is an ionic liquid that acts as solvent and reducing agent at the same time. We also evaluated the morphology of the nanoparticles and the stability of the dispersions. Spherical silver nanoparticles with surface Plasmon bands in the range of 400–430 nm were produced in all the ionic liquids, with the only exception for the 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide that produced a black precipitate. The best results were obtained by using 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide and citrate tetrabutylammonium ionic liquids. The former resulted in concentrated spherical silver nanoparticles dispersion (ca. 1.0 mM of Ag) with diameters ranging from 6 to 12 nm and by adding polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) to the dispersions they became stable for at least 1 month. The citrate tetrabutylammonium ionic liquid produced even more concentrated dispersion of spherical silver nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 2 to 6 nm. These dispersions were quite stable without the need of PVP, since the Plasmon band in the electronic absorption spectra remained unaltered for months after the preparation. The citrate tetrabutylammonium ionic liquid offers a slow kinetic for the silver nanoparticle formation as the citrate is a milder reducing agent than borohydride.

Graphical Abstract


Silver nanoparticles Ionic liquid All-in-one synthesis Long-term stability Imidazolium salts 



Cíntia M. Corrêa thanks CAPES for master scholarship and F.F. Camilo also recognizes FAPESP for the financial support (2014/23065-3). The authors also acknowledge the transmission electron microscopy support of LNNano—Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology/MCT (research proposal TEM-MSC 15017).

Supplementary material

11051_2016_3436_MOESM1_ESM.docx (460 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 460 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cíntia M. Corrêa
    • 1
  • Marcos A. Bizeto
    • 1
  • Fernanda F. Camilo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Materiais Híbridos, Departamento de Ciências Exatas e da Terra, Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e FarmacêuticasUniversidade Federal de São PauloDiademaBrazil

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