Copper is a material that is used for its plasmonic and catalytic properties. Spherical nanoparticles in water can absorb light with a wavelength of 600 nm (orange). By changing the shape of the particles, the absorbing wavelength can be shifted. This allows these particles to be used as optical nanosensors and for surface-enhanced spectroscopies.

For catalysis, various reactions can be catalyzed with particles with diameters ranging from 2-100 nm. The reference article gives an exhaustive overview of all involved processes, like organic transformations, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis and gas-phase catalysis.


Basic data

NameCopper (Cu)
Configuration4s1 3d10
Magnetic typeDiamagnetic
Melting point1085 ℃
Boiling point2562 ℃

Key trends at the nanoscale


The pie chart presented here is based on the distribution of research literature across various fields of application research over the period 1992 to 2017. The value listed is the number of papers discussing Copper related to nanoparticles, sorted by application field. This gives an indication which applications are being or have been researched and where the core interest is. However, the distribution does not correct for the total publications in a given application field. So, a high score for a given application field indicates there is considerable interest in the element in that field, but it may also mean the field itself has considerable more publications than other fields. Therefore, the pie chart gives a general overview only. The application fields themselves are discussed in more detail on our Nanoparticles page.

Additionally, the total number of publications provides some insight in the amount of research into Copper used in nanoparticles in general. Typically, a well-researched element will show 1000 or more publications over the 1992-2017 period.

Alloys and composites

The graph below presents an analysis of literature on core-shell, alloy and composite particles with copper as a component of such nanoparticles. It shows possible combinations for alloy or composite nanoparticles and reflects research interest during the 1992-2017 period.