What is the purpose of liquid silver nitrate?
Silver nitrate is the least expensive salt of silver and offers several other advantages as well. It is non-hygroscopic, in contrast to the fluoroborate and perchlorate salts. It is relatively stable to light. Finally it dissolves in numerous solvents. The nitrate can be easily replaced by other ligands, rendering AgNO3 versatile. Treatment with solutions of halide ions gives a precipitate of AgX (X = Cl, Br, I). When making photographic film, silver nitrate is treated with halide salts of sodium or potassium to form insoluble silver halide in situ in photographic gelatin, which is then applied to strips of tri-acetate or polyester. Similarly, silver nitrate is used to prepare some silver-based explosives, such as the fulminate, azide, or acetylide, through a precipitation reaction.
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