Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 1087-1098

First online:

Microdistribution of copper-carbonate and iron oxide nanoparticles in treated wood

  • Hiroshi MatsunagaAffiliated withForestry and Forest Products Research Institute Email author 
  • , Makoto KiguchiAffiliated withForestry and Forest Products Research Institute
  • , Philip D. EvansAffiliated withCentre for Advanced Wood Processing, University of British Columbia

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Aqueous dispersions of copper-carbonate nanoparticles and microparticles have just begun to be exploited commercially for the preservative treatment of wood. The success of the new systems will depend, in part, on the uniform distribution of the preservative in wood and the ability of copper to penetrate cell walls. We examined the distribution of copper in wood treated with a nano-Cu preservative. Copper particles are not uniformly distributed in treated wood, but they accumulate in voids that act as the flow paths for liquids in wood. Particles are deposited on, but not within cell walls. Nevertheless, elemental copper is present within cell walls, but at a lower level than that in wood treated with a conventional wood preservative. These findings suggest that nano-Cu preservatives are able to deliver bioactive components into wood cell walls even though the majority of copper particles are too large to penetrate the cell wall’s nanocapillary network.


Copper carbonate Nanoparticles Microparticles Wood Preservative Micro-distribution SEM EDX