Silver Nitrate(AgNO3) Properties (25 Facts You Should Know)

AgNO3 or silver nitrate is the inorganic ionic salt of silver. Let us explore silver nitrate in this article a brief.

Silver nitrate can be prepared by the reaction of silver metal with nitric acid in different condition, one is dilute and cold, other is hot and concentrated, both gives silver nitrate. As per Fajan’s rule the silver cation has higher ionic potential and can polarized nitrate ions, so it is an ionic compound.

Silver nitrate is a three coordinated trigonal planar molecule. In the lattice structure each silver cation attached to six oxygen centre and bidentate nitrate ligand. Now we discuss some basic properties of nitrous oxide along with its molar density, reactivity in the following part of the article.

1. AgNO3 IUPAC name

The IUPAC (International Union Pure and Applied Chemistry) name of the AgNO3 is nitric acid silver(I) salt as it is prepared from nitric acid and silver is in +1 state. The common name is silver nitrate, where nitrate is the anionic part.

2. AgNO3 chemical formula

The chemical formula to represent the silver nitrate is AgNO3 as there cationic part is Ag and anionic radical part is nitrate and both present as 1:1 ratio. In the nitrate ion there will be three oxygen present along with one nitrogen.

Silver Nitrate Structure

3. AgNO3 CAS number

The CAS number (up to 10 digits numerical value given by Chemistry Abstracts Service) of silver nitrate is 7761-88-8.

4. AgNO3 Chem Spider ID

The chem spider ID of silver nitrate is 22878 which is given by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

5. AgNO3 chemical classification

Silver nitrate is classified in the chemistry into following categories,

  • AgNO3 is an electrolyte
  • AgNO3 is an electrode
  • AgNO3 is an inorganic salt
  • AgNO3 is a precipitating agent
  • AgNO3 is a titrant in redox titration

6. AgNO3 molar mass

The molar mass of silver nitrate is 169.87 g/mol which is coming from the atomic mass of silver which is 107.8682 and for nitrate radical it is one nitrogen and three oxygen atoms which has total molar mass 14.0067 + (15.999*3) = 62.0037, and total molar mass of silver nitrate is 107.8682 + 62.0037 = 169.87 g/mol.

7. AgNO3 color

Silver nitrate is colorless or white crystalline solid compound but when it reacted with organic molecule or explosure in light it changes its color to black for forming other molecule.

8. AgNO3 viscosity

Solid silver nitrate does not have any viscosity because it is property of fluid, but molten silver nitrate has viscosity which is temperature dependent,

Viscosity of Silver Nitrate

9.      AgNO3 molar density

The molar density of silver nitrate is high as it is solid molecule and the value is near about 4.35 cm3/L because it has molar mass 169.87 g/mol and the volume of the molecule is 22.4L each for cation and anion as per Avagaord’s calculation. 

10. AgNO3 melting point

Silver nitrate has higher melting point like 2120C or 485K because it is ionic compound and the crystal of silver nitrate is very strong so required more energy to break the crystal and convert it into liquid state.

11. AgNO3 boiling point

Silver nitrate has also high boiling point 4400C or 713K because for inorganic salt like AgNO3 needs more energy to get boiled off. It has strong van der waal’s attraction as well as ionic force, so its boiling point so high.

12. AgNO3 state at room temperature

Silver nitrate exist as crystalline solid compound at room temperature, due to strong ionic interaction between constituent atoms.

13. AgNO3 ionic bond

The bond between silver(I) and nitrate radical is pure ionic in silver nitrate molecule. Because silver posses positive charge where as nitrate ion contains negative charge and they are bind with ionic interaction and nitrate has extra electron which given to silver cation.

14. AgNO3 ionic radius

Being an ionic molecule silver nitrate has ionic radius and the ionic radii for silver is 156 pm whereas for nitrate ion is 177 pm.

15. AgNO3 electron configurations

Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in a particular shell having a particular quantum number of an element. We try to find electronic configuration of AgNO3.

The electronic configuration of Ag, N, and O are [Kr]4d105s1, [He]2s22p3, and [He]2s22p4 respectively, as we cannot predict electronic configuration of a complex itself so we have to determine the electronic configuration of the constituent atoms individually.

16. AgNO3 oxidation state

Overall the oxidation state of silver nitrate is neutral due to the cation and anionic part as silver is +1 oxidation state where for the nitrate ion N is +5 oxidation state because each O are in -2 oxidation state.

17. AgNO3 acidity/alkaline

Silver nitrate is neither acidic nor basic rather it is inorganic salt, which is formed on the reaction with acid, so it specifically it is acidic salt and it has lesser acidic property.

Ag + HNO3 = AgNO3

18. Is AgNO3 odourless?

Silver nitrate is an odorless white crystalline solid molecule.

19. Is AgNO3 paramagnetic?

Paramagnetism is the tendency of the element in the direction of the applied magnetic field. Let us see whether AgNO3 is paramagnetic or not.

Silver nitrate is not paramagnetic rather it is diamagnetic due to the presence of five paired electrons in the outermost orbital of silver cation. Again, in the case of nitrate radical all electrons of N as well as O are in the paired form, it has magnetic susceptibility value −45.7·10−6 cm3/mol.

20. AgNO3 hydrates

Silver cation can attract the water molecule surrounding to it and formed a hydrated salt which is called water silver nitrate and formulated as AgH2NO4, where one water molecule is added as hydrated part with the silver nitrate crystal.

21. AgNO3 crystal structure

From the crystallography study it is determined that silver nitrate has orthorhombic crystal structure in the lattice form where a, b, and c values are 699, 732, and 1011 pm respectively and α,β,γ values are 900where the coordination number is 8.

22. AgNO3 polarity and conductivity

Nitrous oxide is polar and conductive in nature because,

  • Silver nitrate can be ionized into silver and nitrate ion
  • The silver ion has more conductive nature like nitrate ion
  • The mobility of silver ion is high so easily carry electricity
  • The shape of the molecule is asymmetric.
  • Due to planar trigonal structure, it has dipole-moment
  • The direction and magnitude of dipole-moment is not zero.
  • There is dipole-moment flows from silver to nitrate ion.

23. AgNO3 reaction with acid

Silver nitrate is soluble in acid rathe reacts with it, so we cannot predict the mechanism of the reaction of silver nitrate with acidic molecule. But reacts with hydrochloric acid it gives insoluble silver chloride salt.

AgNO3 + HCl = AgCl (precipitate)+ HNO3

24. AgNO3 reaction with base

When strong alkali like sodium hydroxide reacts with silver nitrate it gives silver oxide which is dark grey in color.

  • 2AgNO3 + 2NaOH → Ag2O + 2NaNO3 + H2O

25.   AgNO3 reaction with oxide

The reaction of silver nitrate with oxide is not found but upon dissociation of the silver nitrate salt in molten state it gives nitrogen dioxide.

2AgNO3(l) → 2 Ag(s) + O2(g) + 2NO2(g)

26. AgNO3 reaction with metal

When copper rod is suspend in the silver nitrate solution we get silver crystal along with the blue colored copper nitrate solution, silver nitrate reacts with the transition metals only. It is a replacement reaction.

2AgNO3 + Cu → Cu(NO3)2 + 2Ag


Silver nitrate is called lunar caustic by ancient chemist, it is used in the photography. It can used in many organic synthesis, like Ag+ can protect many functional group or attached to them to participate in the desired reaction. It can used to prepare the long lasting ink.

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