Technology that replaces silver and gold with copper for nanoparticles.


Plasmonic metal nanostructures have attracted considerable interests because of their superior ability to manipulate light at the nanoscale, which make them particularly useful for sensing, optical waveguiding, telecommunication, biomedicine, and plasmon-enhanced photocatalysis. Several metals, such as silver, gold, and copper, exhibit plasmonic resonances in the visible region. Compared to silver and gold, copper is much cheaper, making it attractive for practical applications. While much effort has been devoted to the nanostructures made of silver and gold, only limited success has been met with copper. Copper nanoparticles display an intense localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) peak with a narrow band-width comparable to that of silver and gold nanoparticles, however, copper oxidizes readily in air, and the oxidation interferes with the plasmon properties, and thus degrades its usefulness.

Key Benefits

Advantage(s): This method is the only approach that will produce copper core(40 nm), silica nm) nanostructures, with preserved physical and chemical properties of the copper core in an aqueous environment for extended periods. These aqueous Cu-Si02 core-shell nanostructures may find use in sensing, catalysis, and antimicrobial applications. The ligandmediated microemulsion sol-gel method may provide a versatile approach to spontaneously disperse ligand-induced nanoparticle agglomerates and recover the individual particle dispersion for various applications in aqueous environments.


Application(s): This product would be of interest to nanoparticle producers and distributors, who provide the research community with novel and made-to-order nanoparticles for niche applications. Additionally, this material functions as a highly efficient heterogeneous catalyst for organic synthesis, e.g. click chemistry reactions. Also, it will show activity in surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy techniques (SERS), replacing similar silver and gold nanoparticles. Other applications would include antimicrobial formulationst as weEI as theranostic applications, e.g. medical imaging contrast agents.

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