Silver nanoparticles have been synthesized in the inverse microemulsions formed using three different surfactants viz., cetyl-trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), Tergitol and Triton X-100. We have done a systematic study of the effect of the surfactants on the particle size and properties of the silver nanoparticles. Microscopic studies show the formation of spheres, cubes and discs shaped silver nanostructures with the size in the range from 8 to 40 nm. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peak was observed around 400 nm and 500 nm. In addition to SPR some extra peaks have also been observed due to the formation of silver metal clusters. The surface area increases from 3.45 to 15.06 m(2)/g with decreasing the size of silver nanoparticles (40-8 nm). To investigate the antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles, the nanoparticles were tested against the yeast, Candida albicans and the bacterium, E. coli. The results suggest very good antimicrobial activity of the silver nanoparticles against the test microbes. The mode of action of the antimicrobial activity was also proposed.
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