A simple and reliable on-line separation/preconcentration procedure was developed for the determination of trace levels of Ag(I) by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Poly[N-(3-methyl-1H-indol-1-yl)-2-methactylamide-co-2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid-co-divinylbenzene] was synthesized and characterized as a new chelating resin for the first time. Ag(I) was sorbed on the chelating resin, from which it could be eluted with 3 mol L-1 HCl and then introduced directly to the nebulizer-burner system for flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The parameters influential on the determination of Ag(I) ions such as the pH of the sample solution, amount of resin, eluent type, interfering ions and flow variables were studied. Under the optimum conditions, the calibration graph obtained was linear over the concentration range of 2-20 mu g L-1. The detection limit of the method (3 sigma) was 0.3 mu g L-1 while precision was 1.5% (n=25) at the level of 10 mu g L-1 Ag(I). The limit of quantification for the method, based on 20 sigma, was 2.0 mu g L-1. The enrichment factor was found to be 65 while the optimized sample volume was 13.6 mL. The accuracy of the method was performed by analyzing certified reference materials. The developed method was applied successfully for the determination of silver in different water samples with satisfactory results. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.