The applications of copper (Cu) and Cu-based nanoparticles, which are based on the earth-abundant and inexpensive copper metal, have generated a great deal of interest in recent years, especially in the field of catalysis. The possible modification of the chemical and physical properties of these nanoparticles using different synthetic strategies and conditions and/or via postsynthetic chemical treatments has been largely responsible for the rapid growth of interest in these nanomaterials and their applications in catalysis. In addition, the design and development of novel support and/or multimetallic systems (e.g., alloys, etc.) has also made significant contributions to the field. In this comprehensive review, we report different synthetic approaches to Cu and Cu-based nanoparticles (metallic copper, copper oxides, and hybrid copper nanostructures) and copper nanoparticles immobilized into or supported on various support materials (SiO2, magnetic support materials, etc.), along with their applications in catalysis. The synthesis part discusses numerous preparative protocols for Cu and Cu-based nanoparticles, whereas the application sections describe their utility as catalysts, including electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, and gas-phase catalysis. We believe this critical appraisal will provide necessary background information to further advance the applications of Cu-based nanostructured materials in catalysis.
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