Image of the first daguerreotype, a photography precursor, taken in Spain in 1848

Facts about Silver:

  • Silver: Lustrous white soft, malleable metal; stable to water and oxygen but attacked by sulfur compounds in air.
  • Fun fact about Silver: Silver is the metal with the highest electrical and thermal conductivities. It is widely used as a decorative finish, in the production of amalgams and in the formation of mirrors. It has also been employed, as halides, for the photographic industry.
  • Chemical symbol: Ag
  • Atomic number: 47

A crystal structure containing Silver:

View of the double-stranded chain in the structure of the antibiotic silver sulfadiazine 

Facts about this structure:

  • Formula: (C20 H18 Ag2 N8 O4 S2)n
  • Structure name: catena(bis(μ2-Sulfanilaminopyrimidine-N,N',N'',O)-di-silver(i))
  • Fun fact about the structure: Silver sulfadiazine was employed as a topical treatment against infections in burnt tissues.
  • CSD refcode: SULPMS (What's this?)
  • Associated publication:  N.C.Baenziger, A.W.Struss, Inorganic Chemistry,  1976, 15, 1807, DOI:  10.1021/ic50162a014

More info:

Silver was probably the third metal to be discovered, after gold and copper. It is the most reactive of the noble metals. Silver is widely distributed in nature in the native form, as an alloy with other metals and being part of minerals such as argentite. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, silver has been used in medicine as bactericidal agent. The sensitivity to light of silver halides is the origin of photography since the exposure of photographic film containing silver bromide to light produces the reduction of this compound to metallic silver in such a way that the most strongly illuminated parts of the film become the darkest.

More info about the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) in crystals project:

This project (#IYPTCrystals) is part of the International Year of the Periodic Table celebration (#IYPT2019), read more about the project here. You can follow us on social media using #IYPTCrystals and learn more about the wonders of crystals by following the CCDC on Twitter @ccdc_cambridge on Facebook ccdc.cambridge, on Instagram ccdc_cambridge or on YouTube CCDCCambridge.

If you want to find out more about some of the terms and concepts we have a Frequently Asked Questions Page.

A visualisation showing the structure containing Silver alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: