Silver nanoparticles are nanoparticles of silver of between 1 nm and 100 nm in size. While frequently described as being 'silver' some are composed of a large percentage of silver oxide due to their large ratio of surface to bulk silver atoms. Numerous shapes of nanoparticles can be constructed depending on the application at hand. Commonly used silver nanoparticles are spherical, but diamond, octagonal, and thin sheets are also common.
Their extremely large surface area permits the coordination of a vast number of ligands. The properties of silver nanoparticles applicable to human treatments are under investigation in laboratory and animal studies, assessing potential efficacy, toxicity, and costs.