Flores-López, N.S., Castro-Rosas, J., Ramírez-Bon, R., and Flores-Acosta, M. 2012. Synthesis and properties of silver crystalline nanoparticles supported in natural zeolite chabazite. Journal of Molecular Structure. 1028:110?115.
A simple, low-temperature, hydrothermal method for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles supported on the surfaces of the natural zeolite chabazite has been developed. The synthesis method includes two ion exchange processes: the first is a conditioning process to exchange the natural cations included in the chabazite tuff with NH4 ions, and the second exchanges the latter ions with silver. The precipitation of silver nanoparticles is achieved by thermal annealing of the silver-exchanged chabazite at 400 C for 1 h. The samples were studied with X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. The results show the presence of both silver cations and nanoparticles in the chabazite matrix, the silver nanoparticles being located at the surface of the chabazite microcrystals. The silver nanoparticles are crystalline with an average size of 8 nm and show cube-truncated shapes. The absorption spectra of the silver nanoparticles display several plasmon resonance transitions due to their geometry. The silver-supporting chabazite powders have bactericide properties against several types of bacteria as was shown by the inhibition of bacteria growth on conventional agar medium.