A controlled synthesis method for preparing narrow-dispersed copper nanoparticles, using water and ethylene glycol as the reaction mediums respectively, has been reported. In order to obtain pure-phase copper nanoparticles using water, the reaction time of 8h is essential. Owing to the reduction property of ethylene glycol, the reaction rate using ethylene glycol is higher. In addition, the amount of reduction agent can reduce largely. Polyvinyl pyrrolidone plays great role on the size of copper particles, and the increasing of polyvinyl pyrrolidone concentration attributes to the smaller dimension particles. The mean diameter is about 4 nm when the concentration of polyvinyl pyrrolidone is 0.5 mmol/L. Polyvinyl pyrrolidone acts as the polymeric capping agents in the reaction, preventing the agglomeration of the copper nanoparticles. When water is the reaction medium, Cu2+ complex is reduced to Cu+ complex firstly, and the further reduction of Cu+ forms the pure copper nanoparticle.

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