Non-oxidized bare copper nanoparticles with surface excess electrons in air

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Copper (Cu) nanoparticles (NPs) have received extensive interest owing to their advantageous properties compared with their bulk counterparts. Although the natural oxidation of Cu NPs can be alleviated by passivating the surfaces with additional moieties, obtaining non-oxidized bare Cu NPs in air remains challenging. Here we report that bare Cu NPs with surface excess electrons retain their non-oxidized state over several months in ambient air. Cu NPs grown on an electride support with excellent electron transfer ability are encapsulated by the surface-accumulated excess electrons, exhibiting an ultralow work function of -3.2 eV. Atomic-scale structural and chemical analyses confirm the absence of Cu oxide moiety at the outermost surface of air-exposed bare Cu NPs. Theoretical energetics clarify that the surface-accumulated excess electrons suppress the oxygen adsorption and consequently prohibit the infiltration of oxygen into the Cu lattice, provoking the endothermic reaction for oxidation process. Our results will further stimulate the practical use of metal NPs in versatile applications.
Publisher
NATURE PORTFOLIO
Issue Date
2022-03
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, v.17, no.3, pp.285 - 291

ISSN
1748-3387
DOI
10.1038/S41565-021-01070-4
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/292771
Appears in Collection
MS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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