|Name||Silver (I) nitrate|
|Formula weight||169.9 amu|
|Melting point||485 K (212 °C)|
|Boiling point||decomposes at 713 K (440 °C)|
|Solubility||245 g in 100g water|
|Ingestion||Very toxic, may cause serious injury or death.|
|Inhalation||Severe irritant, long-term effects also known.|
|Skin||Staining, higher concentrations are corrosive and dangerous.|
|Eyes||Extremely dangerous, causes blindness. Seek medical attention immediately.|
|More info||Hazardous Chemical Database|
When making photographic film, fine silver nitrate particles are bonded to strips of tri-acetate or polyester. Photons from sunlight, X-rays or other sources, initiate a purported chemical chain reaction: when photons strike silver nitrate molecules, they free electrons from the silver ions. These free electrons roam through the crystal and settle in structural imperfections called sensitivity specks. These specks apparently attract positive silver ions, which are then neutralized to form groups of stable silver atoms, creating a latent image that is chemically developed to reveal a photographic image.
Silver nitrate has been used as an antiseptic, dropped into new born babies' eyes at birth. This is to prevent contraction of gonorrhoea or chlamydia from their mother. A very weak solution is used for this, (about 1%) and there are very few side effects.