Effects of surface chemistry on the generation of reactive oxygen species by copper nanoparticles

Miao Shi, Hyun Soo Kwon, Zhenmeng Peng, Alison Elder, Hong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mercaptocarboxylic acids with different carbon chain lengths were used for stabilizing uniform 15 nm copper nanoparticles. The effects of surface chemistry such as ligand type and surface oxidation on the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by the copper nanoparticles were examined. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), UV-vis spectroscopy, and an acellular ROS assay show that ROS generation is closely related to the surface oxidation of copper nanoparticles. It was found that the copper nanoparticles with longer chain ligands had surfaces that were better protected from oxidation and a corresponding lower ROS generating capacity than did particles with shorter chain ligands. Conversely, the copper nanoparticles with greater surface oxidation also had higher ROS generating capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2157-2164
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 27 2012


  • ROS
  • copper nanoparticles
  • mercaptocarboxylic acids
  • oxidation
  • surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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