Oxidation of aqueous 8 nm unprotected copper nanoparticles takes place under air in approximately 2 hours at 30 °C to give Cu2+ as a final product through an intermediate Cu+ species. At 5 °C the process is about 5 times slower; similarly, vitamin C, which plays a sacrificial role, also slows down the oxidation, while CuNP catalyses the oxidation. In this work, we present a detailed analysis of the oxidation mechanism of colloidal CuNP inferred through spectroscopic methods (UV-visible and EPR) combined with oxygen uptake measurements, with emphasis on factors affecting the oxidative process.
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