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Growth of metallic silver on surface of silver tungstate crystals as a result of electrosynthesis

The British journal Scientific Reports Nature has highlighted in its latest issue the work done by the Centre for Development of Functional Materials (CDMF) of Brazil and researchers from the group of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (QTC) at the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry of the Universitat Jaume I in Spain. The have discovered the growth of metallic silver on the surface of silver tungstate crystals (Ag2WO4) using high resolution and hign transmission scanning microscopes.

This phenomenon was not observed before in the literature and it results from the interaction of the electrons generated by the microscope with the silver ions, that are reduced to metallic silver. "This new material has been artificially created by the effect of electrosynthesis, through the interaction of electrons that interact with silver ions, which reduce growth and produce metallic silver," states Elson Longo, one of the paper's authors and director of the CDMF. The electron treatment also improves the photoluminescent properties, photodegradation and bactericidal activity of silver tungstate.

The paper, entitled Structural and electronic analysis of the atomic scale nucleation of Ag on α-Ag2WO4 induced by electron irradiation, has had an important contribution from the researcher Juan Andrés Bort, thanks to the Cooperation Programme between Brazil and Spain and Spanish institutions. Juan Andrés is co-author of the article along with Lourdes Gracia and Patricio González-Navarrete, from the QTC Department at the UJI, and the Brazilian researchers Valeria M. Longo, Waldir Avansi Jr., Diogo P. Volanti, Mateus M. Ferrer, Pablo S. Lemos, Felipe A. La Porta, Antonio C. Hernandes and Elson Longo from CDMF. The postdoctoral fellow Laécio Santos Cavalcante and the PhD student Amanda Fernandes Gouveia have also taken part in the research.

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