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Keywords:

  • hyperstoichiometry;
  • mercury;
  • nanoparticles;
  • redox chemistry;
  • silver
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Breaking through the stoichiometry barrier: As the diameter of silver particles is decreased below a critical size of 32 nm, the molar ratio of aqueous HgII to Ag0 drastically increases beyond the conventional Hg/Ag ratio of 0.5:1, leading to hyperstoichiometry with a maximum ratio of 1.125:1 (see figure). Therein, around 99 % of the initial silver is retained to rapidly form a solid amalgam with reduced mercury.