The synthesis of stable, monodisperse, shaped copper nanoparticles has been difficult, partially because of copper's propensity for oxidation. This article reports the findings of an investigation of a synthetic route for the synthesis of size-controllable and potentially shape-controllable molecularly capped copper nanoparticles. The approach involved the manipulation of reaction temperature for the synthesis of copper nanoparticles in organic solvents in the presence of amine and acid capping agents. By manipulating the reaction temperature, this route has been demonstrated for the production of copper nanoparticles ranging from 5 to 25 nm. The size dependence of the melting temperature of copper nanoparticles, especially for surface melting, is believed to play an important role in interparticle coalescence, leading to size growth as the reaction temperature is increased. Control of the reaction temperature and capping molecules has also been demonstrated to produce copper nanoparticles with different shapes such as rods and cubes. The previously proposed combination of the selective formation of a seed precursor and a selective growth direction due to the preferential adsorption of capping agents on certain nanocrystal facets is believed to be responsible for shape formation by kinetically controlling the growth rates of crystal facets. The nanoparticles are characterized using TEM, XRD, and UV - visible techniques. A mechanistic consideration of the size control and shape formation is also discussed.
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