Spinel phases, with unique and outstanding physical properties, are attracting a great deal of interest in many fields. In particular, MgFe2O4, a partially inverted spinel phase, could find applications in medicine thanks to the remarkable antibacterial properties attributed to the generation of reactive oxygen species. In this paper, undoped and Ag-doped MgFe2-xAgxO4 (x = 0.1 and 0.3) nanoparticles were prepared using microwave-assisted combustion and sol–gel methods. X-ray powder diffraction, with Rietveld structural refinements combined with micro-Raman spectroscopy, allowed to determine sample purity and the inversion degree of the spinel, passing from about 0.4 to 0.7 when Ag was introduced as dopant. The results are discussed in view of the antibacterial activity towards Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, representative strains of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The sol–gel particles were more efficient towards the chosen bacteria, possibly thanks to the nanometric sizes of metallic silver, which were well distributed in the powders and in the spinel phase, with respect to microwave ones, that, however, acquired antibacterial activity after thermal treatment, probably due to the nucleation of hematite, itself displaying wellknown antibacterial properties and which could synergistically act with silver and spinel.
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