The synthesis of spherical copper nanoparticles with extremely narrow size distribution by electroless copper deposition on mesoporous silica support is described. The materials were characterized by nitrogen sorption, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffractometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The copper nanoparticles have a cubic crystalline structure and an average particle size of 5.5 ± 0.8 nm. The copper nanoparticles are stable, without detectable oxidation or further agglomeration under ambient conditions even after months. These results demonstrate that electroless copper reduction can be conducted and constrained within the mesoporous silica framework, which pave the way for engineered mesoreactors.
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