A need for precise determination of oxygen and nitrogen content in nanomaterials arises from the fact that these impurities play a major role on the final properties exhibited by the material. In our present work we have synthesized silver nanoparticles using a thermal decomposition
technique using oleic acid and oleyl amine as surfactants. The size of the particles was measured to be 14 nm from small angle X-ray scattering and X-ray diffraction patterns of the powders revealed that they exist in face centered cubic structure. Determination of oxygen and nitrogen was
carried out using inert gas fusion technique in a Leco TC600 instrument. Melting behavior of Ag nanopowders was investigated and it was found that they melted at 400 amps (1466 C) which was 100 amps (≈200 °C) lesser than that of the bulk silver. Maximum concentrations of 3910 ppm oxygen
and 970 ppm nitrogen were obtained for the as-prepared sample and their values decreased drastically with repeated washings. It was also observed that the surfactant oleyl amine could be washed off easily (2 washings) when compared to oleic acid (4 washings) and that the oxygen and nitrogen
content was totally from the surfactants and not because of surface oxidation.
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