Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 127-138

First online:

Microwave-assisted polyol synthesis of Cu nanoparticles

  • M. BlosiAffiliated withISTEC-CNR, Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, CNR, National Research Council Email author 
  • , S. AlbonettiAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Chemistry and Materials, INSTM, Research Unit of Bologna, University of Bologna
  • , M. DondiAffiliated withISTEC-CNR, Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, CNR, National Research Council
  • , C. MartelliAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Chemistry and Materials, University of Bologna
  • , G. BaldiAffiliated withCERICOL, Colorobbia Research

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Microwave heating was applied to synthesize copper colloidal nanoparticles by a polyol method that exploits the chelating and reducing power of a polidentate alcohol (diethylenglycol). The synthesis was carried out in the presence of eco-friendly additives such as ascorbic acid (reducing agent) and polyvinylpirrolidone (chelating polymer) to improve the reduction kinetics and sols stability. Prepared suspensions, obtained with very high reaction yield, were stable for months in spite of the high metal concentration. In order to optimize suspensions, synthesis parameters were modified and the effects on particle size, optical properties, and reaction yield were investigated. XRD analysis, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and DLS measurements confirmed that prepared sols consist of crystalline metallic copper with a diameter ranging from 45 to 130 nm. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of Cu nanoparticles was monitored by UV–Vis spectroscopy and showed both a red shift and a band weakening due to nanoparticle diameter increase. Microwave use provides rapid, uniform heating of reagents and solvent, while accelerating the reduction of metal precursors and the nucleation of metal clusters, resulting in monodispersed nanostructures. The proposed microwave-assisted synthesis, also usable in large-scale continuous production, makes process intensification possible.


Copper Nanoparticles Colloid Polyol synthesis Microwave