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Hyperstoichiometric Interaction Between Silver and Mercury at the Nanoscale


  • This research has been supported by the FP7-Marie Curie Program 2009-255635-HYREM and Leverhulme Trust Fellowship. We thank the RCUK Academic Fellowship programme (R.W.) and Dr. Chris Dadswell (University of Sussex), Dr. Martin Smith (University of Brighton), and Prof. Yury Gogotsi (Drexel University) for useful discussions.


original image

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.