A method for synthesis of radiolabelled silver nanoparticles is reported. The method is based on proton activation of silver metal powder, enriched in 107gAg, with a 30.7 MeV proton beam. At this proton energy 105gAg is efficiently created, mainly via the 107gAg(p,3n) 105Cd → 105gAg reaction. 105gAg has a half-life of 41.29 days and emits easily detectable gamma radiation on decay to 105Pd. This makes it very useful as a tracing radionuclide for experiments over several weeks or months. Following activation and a period to allow short-lived radionuclides to decay, the powder was dissolved in concentrated nitric acid in order to formsilver nitrate (AgNO3), which was used to synthesise radiolabelled silver nanoparticles via the process of sodium borohydride reduction. For comparison, non-radioactive silver nanoparticles were synthesised using commercially supplied AgNO3 in order to check if the use of irradiated Ag powder as a starting material would alter in any way the final nanoparticle characteristics. Both nanoparticle types were characterised using dynamic light scattering, zeta-potential and X-ray diffraction measurements, while additionally the non-radioactive samples were analysed by transmission electron microscopy and UV-Vis spectrometry. A hydrodynamic diameter of about 16 nm was determined for both radiolabelled and non-radioactive nanoparticles, while the electron microscopy on the non-radioactive samples indicated that the physical size of the metal NPs was (7.3 ± 1.4) nm. © Springer Science+Business Media 2013.
- Silver nanoparticles