Copper nanoclusters: applications

“A nanocluster is a type of nanoparticle in which researchers have pinpointed the precise arrangement of every atom, along with their bond lengths and bond angles. This detailed information enables researchers to predict the properties of related clusters, based on their composition and structures.”

“Nanoclusters containing copper, silver and gold have potential uses as catalysts, or as nontoxic luminescent imaging agents in living cells” (Copper nanoclusters shape up).

Featured articles (these articles have been added to the Science Primary Literature database):

*An, Y., Ren, Y., Bick, M., Dudek, A., Hong-Wang Waworuntu, E., Tang, J., . . . Chang, B. (2020). Highly fluorescent copper nanoclusters for sensing and bioimaging. Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 154, 112078. [PDF] [Cited by]

“Metal nanoclusters (NCs), typically consisting of a few to tens of metal atoms, bridge the gap between organometallic compounds and crystalline metal nanoparticles. As their size approaches the Fermi wavelength of electrons, metal NCs exhibit discrete energy levels, which in turn result in the emergence of intriguing physical and chemical (or physicochemical) properties, especially strong fluorescence. Compared with noble metals, copper is a relatively earth-abundant and cost-effective metal. Theoretical and experimental studies have shown that copper NCs (CuNCs) possess unique photoluminescent properties. To highlight these achievements, this review begins by providing an overview of a multitude of factors that play central roles in the fluorescence of CuNCs. Additionally, a critical perspective of how the aggregation of CuNCs can efficiently improve the florescent stability, tunability and intensity is also discussed. Following, we present representative applications of CuNCs in detection and in-vivo/in-vitro imaging and point out that in-situ generation of CuNCs for sensing and bioimaging may be an entry point for the in-depth studies of CuNCs as an intriguing probe. Finally, we outline current challenges and our perspective on the development of CuNCs.”

*Cao, Q., Li, J., & Wang, E. (2019). Recent advances in the synthesis and application of copper nanomaterials based on various DNA scaffolds. Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 132, 333-342. [Cited by]

“Fluorescent copper nanomaterials (CuNMs), including copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) and copper nanoclusters (CuNCs), become more and more popular with the abundant raw materials and low cost. A wide range of applications has been explored due to their fascinating properties such as low toxicity, remarkable water solubility, facile synthesis, large Stokes shifts, and good biocompatibility. As a kind of genetic material, DNA exhibits its molecular recognition function and diversity. The marriage between CuNMs and DNA endows DNA-templated CuNMs (DNA-CuNMs) with unique properties such as fluorescence, electrochemiluminescence, and catalytic features. In this review, we summarize the synthesis and recent applications of DNA-CuNMs. Fluorescent CuNMs can be grown on various DNA scaffolds with special sequence design. T base plays an important role in the formation of CuNMs on DNA templates. These fluorescent DNA-CuNMs hold great prospect in logic gate construction, staining and biosensing of DNAs and RNAs, ions, proteins and enzymes, small molecules and so on.”

Questions? Please let me know (engelk@grinnell.edu).

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