Russian Chemical Bulletin

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 16–21 | Cite as

Colloidal copper in aqueous solutions: radiation-chemical reduction, mechanism of formation, and properties

  • B. G. Ershov
General and Inorganic Chemistry


Colloidal copper has been obtained by γ-irradiation of aqueous solutions of copper (II) perchlorate in the presence of alcohol and polyethyleneimine (PEI). The sols are spherical particles about 4 nm in diameter, which are quickly oxidized by oxygen or other oxidants. When CuII is not entirely incorporated into the complex with PEI, disproportionation of CuI aqua complexes formed affords the metal, along with Cu2O. Reduction of the PEI complex of CuI by hydrated electrons gives only colloidal copper. The copper ions can be reduced on the surface of silver sols. Optical parameters of the resulting bimetallic particles have been studied. The presence of copper ions leads to broadening of the absorption band associated with the silver sols and shifts it to the UV region, which is due to the transfer of electrons from copper to silver. Three copper monolayers are enough to cause plasmon absorption of colloidal copper.

Key words

colloids reduction copper salts γ-irradiation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. G. Ershov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Physical ChemistryRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussian Federation

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