solid silver nitrate

Fact About Silver nitrate

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Silver nitrate

Silver nitrate is an inorganic compound with chemical formula AgNO
3. This salt is a versatile precursor to many other silver compounds , such as those used in photography. It is far less sensitive to light than the halides. It was once called lunar caustic because silver was called luna by the ancient alchemists, who associated silver with the moon

In solid silver nitrate , the silver ions are three-coordinated in a trigonal planar arrangement


Albertus Magnus, in the 13th century, documented the ability of nitric acid to separate gold and silver by dissolving the silver. Magnus noted that the resulting solution of silver nitrate could blacken skin


Silver nitrate can be prepared by reacting silver, such as silver bullion or silver foil, with nitric acid, resulting in silver nitrate, water, and oxides of nitrogen. Reaction byproducts depend upon the concentration of nitric acid used


Precursor to other silver compounds

Silver nitrate is the least expensive salt of silver; it offers several other advantages as well. It is non-hygroscopic, in contrast to silver fluoroborate and silver perchlorate. It is relatively stable to light. Finally, it dissolves in numerous solvents, including water. The nitrate can be easily replaced by other ligands, rendering AgNO3 versatile. Treatment with solutions of halide ions gives a precipitate of AgX (X = Cl, Br, I). When making photographic film, silver nitrate is treated with halide salts of sodium or potassium to form insoluble silver halide in situ in photographic gelatin, which is then applied to strips of tri-acetate or polyester. Similarly, silver nitrate is used to prepare some silver-based explosives, such as the fulminate, azide, or acetylide, through a precipitation reaction

Organic synthesis

Silver nitrate is used in many ways in organic synthesis, e.g. for deprotection and oxidations. Ag  binds alkenes reversibly, and silver nitrate has been used to separate mixtures of alkenes by selective absorption. The resulting adduct can be decomposed with ammonia to release the free alkene. Silver Nitrate is highly soluble in water but is poorly soluble in most organic solvents, except acetonitrile 111.8 g/100 g, 25°C


In histology, silver nitrate is used for silver staining, for demonstrating reticular fibers, proteins and nucleic acids. For this reason it is also used to demonstrate proteins in PAGE gels. It can be used as a stain in scanning electron microscopy