Synthesis and antimicrobial studies of nano-copper doped carbon substrates; activated carbon, reduced graphene oxide, and carbon nanofiber


  • Songwuit CHANTHEE Department of Chemical Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering, Thammasat University, Phahonyothin, Pathum Thani, Khlong Luang, 12120, Thailand
  • Jenjira JIRASANGTHONG Department of Chemical Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering, Thammasat University, Phahonyothin, Pathum Thani, Khlong Luang, 12120, Thailand
  • Channarong ASASVATESANUPAP Department of Mechanical Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering, Thammasat University, Phahonyothin, Pathum Thani, Khlong Luang, 12120, Thailand
  • Malee SANTIKUNAPORN Department of Mechanical Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering, Thammasat University, Phahonyothin, Pathum Thani, Khlong Luang, 12120, Thailand



Antimicrobial, Copper, Activated carbon, Reduced graphene oxide, CarbonNanofiber


Copper oxides (CuxO) have received considerable attention as a result of their biological activity. Nanoparticles (NPs) of CuxO attached to different substrates exhibit a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria and viruses, with similar properties to silver. The antimicrobial activity of CuxO-NPs doped on distinctive carbon materials was investigated for three carbon substrates: apricot stone activated carbon (AAC), reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and carbon nanofiber (CNF). The CuxO-NPs (5 wt%) doped AAC and rGO substrates were prepared by impregnation of copper nitrate followed by a thermal treatment process, while a similar weight of CuxO-NPs doped CNF was fabricated by electrospinning copper nitrate with polyacrylonitrile precursor, followed by carbonization. The CuxO species and chemical functions were characterized by X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, respectively. Surface morphology was measured using scanning electron microscopy. The antimicrobial activities of the substrates were evaluated by inhibition zone measurement of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The results demonstrated significant inhibition distances for different carbon substrates. Interestingly, CuxO-NPs doped over both AAC and rGO surfaces revealed clear zones against bacteria, whereas the inhibition zone was not recorded for CuxO-NPs doped over a CNF substrate. Various parameters such as carbon substrates, particle size, and copper oxide species were investigated.


Metrics Loading ...


R. Brown, G. Craun, A. Dufour, J. Eisenberg, J. Foran, C. Gauntt, C. Gerba, C. Haas, A. Highsmith, and R. Irbe, "A conceptual framework to assess the risks of human disease following exposure to pathogens," Risk analysis, vol. 16, pp. 841-848, 1996. DOI:

O. E. Heuer, H. Kruse, K. Grave, P. Collignon, I. Karunasagar, and F. J. Angulo, "Human health consequences of use of antimicrobial agents in aquaculture," Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 49, pp. 1248-1253, 2009. DOI:

K. Mortezaee, M. Najafi, H. Samadian, H. Barabadi, A. Azarnezhad, and A. Ahmad, "Redox Interactions and genotoxicity of metal-based nanoparticles: A comprehensive review," Chemico-Biological Interactions, vol. 312, p. 108814, 2019. DOI:

H. Barabadi, H. Vahidi, K. D. Kamali, M. Rashedi, O. Hosseini, and M. Saravanan, "Emerging theranostic gold nanomaterials to combat colorectal cancer: A systematic review," Journal of Cluster Science, vol. 31, p. 651, 2020. DOI:

H. Samadian, M. S. Salami, M. Jaymand, A. Azarnezhad, M. Najafi, H. Barabadi, and A. Ahmad, “Genotoxicity assessment of carbon-based nanomaterials; Have their unique physico-chemical properties made them double-edged swords?,” Mutation Research, vol. 783, pp. 108296, 2020. DOI:

H. Samadian, S. Zakariaee, M. Adabi, H. Mobasheri, M. Azami, and R. Faridi‐Majidi, “Effective parameters on conductivity of mineralized carbon nanofibers: An investigation using artificial neural networks,” RSC Advances, vol. 6, pp. 111908-111918, 2016. DOI:

K. Gold, B. Slay, M. Knackstedt, and A. K. Gaharwar, "Anti-microbial activity of metal and metal‐oxide based nanoparticles," Advanced Therapeutics, vol. 1, p. 1700033, 2018. DOI:

S. M. Dizaj, F. Lotfipour, M. Barzegar-Jalali, M. H. Zarrintan, and K. Adibkia, "Antimicrobial activity of the metals and metal oxide nanoparticles," Materials Science and Engineering, vol. 44, pp. 278-284, 2014. DOI:

J. Ramyadevi, K. Jeyasubramanian, A. Marikani, G. Rajakumar, and A. A. Rahuman, "Synthesis and antimicrobial activity of copper nanoparticles," Materials letters, vol. 71, pp. 114-116, 2012. DOI:

M. F. Gutiérrez, P. Malaquias, V. Hass, T. P. Matos, L. Lourenço, A. Reis, A. D. Loguercio, and P. V. Farago, "The role of copper nanoparticles in an etch-and-rinse adhesive on antimicrobial activity, mechanical properties and the durability of resin- dentine interfaces," Journal of Dentistry, vol. 61, pp. 12-20, 2017. DOI:

A. Čongrádyová, K. Jomová, L. Kucková, J. Kožíšek, J. Moncoľ, and M. Valko, "Antimicrobial activity of copper (II) complexes," Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, vol. 2021, pp. 67-70, 2021.

S. E.-D. Hassan, S. S. Salem, A. Fouda, M. A. Awad, M. S. El-Gamal, and A. M. Abdo, "New approach for antimicrobial activity and bio-control of various pathogens by biosynthesized copper nanoparticles using endophytic actinomycetes," Journal of Radiation Research and Applied Sciences, vol. 11, pp. 262-270, 2018. DOI:

M. S. Usman, M. E. El-Zowalaty, K. Shameli, N. Zainuddin, M. Salama, and N. A. Ibrahim, "Synthesis, characterization, and antimicrobial properties of copper nanoparticles," International journal of nanomedicine, vol. 8, pp. 4467, 2013. DOI:

G. Ren, D. Hu, E. W. Cheng, M. A. Vargas-Reus, P. Reip, and R. P. Allaker, "Characterisation of copper oxide nano-particles for antimicrobial applications," International journal of antimicrobial agents, vol. 33, pp. 587-590, 2009. DOI:

S. Singh, M. Ashfaq, R. K. Singh, H. C. Joshi, A. Srivastava, A. Sharma, and N. Verma, "Preparation of surfactant-mediated silver and copper nanoparticles dispersed in hierarchical carbon micro-nanofibers for antibacterial applications," New biotechnology, vol. 30, pp. 656-665, 2013. DOI:

R. Mohan, A. Shanmugharaj, and R. Sung Hun, "An efficient growth of silver and copper nanoparticles on multiwalled carbon nanotube with enhanced antimicrobial activity," Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials, vol. 96, pp. 119-126, 2011. DOI:

S. Mohammed, K. Khashan, M. Jabir, F. Abdulameer, G. Sulaiman, M. Al-Omar, H. Mohammed, A. Hadi, and R. Khan, "Copper oxide nanoparticle-decorated carbon nanoparticle composite colloidal preparation through laser ablation for antimicrobial and antiproliferative actions against breast cancer cell line, MCF-7," BioMed Research International, vol. 2022, pp. 1-13, 2022. DOI:

J. R. Nascimento, M. R. D’Oliveira, A. G. Veiga, C. A. Chagas, and M. Schmal, "Synthesis of reduced graphene oxide as a support for nano copper and palladium/copper catalysts for selective NO reduction by CO," ACS Omega, vol. 5, pp. 25568-25581, 2020. DOI:

W. Shao, S. Wang, J. Wu, M. Huang, H. Liu, and H. Min, "Synthesis and antimicrobial activity of copper nanoparticle loaded regenerated bacterial cellulose membranes," RSC advances, vol. 6, pp. 65879-65884, 2016. DOI:

A. Abdedayem, M. Guiza, and A. Ouederni, "Copper supported on porous activated carbon obtained by wetness impregnation: Effect of preparation conditions on the ozonation catalyst's characteristics," Comptes Rendus Chimie, vol. 18, pp. 100-109, 2015. DOI:

W. S. Hummers, and R. E. Offeman, "Preparation of graphitic oxide," Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 80, pp. 1339-1339, 1958. DOI:

S. Thiangviriya, and R. Utke, "LiBH4 nanoconfined in activated carbon nanofiber for reversible hydrogen storage," International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 40, pp. 4167-4174, 2015. DOI:

C. Das, S. Sen, T. Singh, T. Ghosh, S. S. Paul, T. W. Kim, S. Jeon, D. K. Maiti, J. Im, and G. Biswas, "Green synthesis, characterization and application of natural product coated magnetite nanoparticles for wastewater treatment," Nanomaterials, vol. 10, pp. 1615, 2020. DOI:

C. Daniel, Y. Schuurman, and D. Farrusseng, "Surface effect of nano-sized cerium-zirconium oxides for the catalytic conversion of methanol and CO2 into dimethyl carbonate," Journal of Catalysis, vol. 394, pp. 486-494, 2021. DOI:

J. R. Anasdass, P. Kannaiyan, R. Raghavachary, S. C. B. Gopinath, and Y. Chen, "Palladium nanoparticle-decorated reduced graphene oxide sheets synthesized using Ficus carica fruit extract: A catalyst for Suzuki cross-coupling reactions," PLOS ONE, vol. 13, pp. e0193281, 2018. DOI:

B. D. Ossonon, and D. Bélanger, "Synthesis and characterization of sulfophenyl-functionalized reduced graphene oxide sheets," RSC Advances, vol. 7, pp. 27224-27234, 2017. DOI:

M. Ruidíaz-Martínez, M. A. Álvarez, M. V. López-Ramón, G. Cruz-Quesada, J. Rivera-Utrilla, and M. Sánchez-Polo, "Hydro-thermal synthesis of rGO-TiO2 composites as high-performance UV photocatalysts for ethylparaben degradation," Catalysts, vol. 10, pp. 520, 2020. DOI:

Q. He, Y. Tian, Y. Wu, J. Liu, G. Li, P. Deng, and D. Chen, "Electrochemical sensor for rapid and sensitive detection of tryptophan by a Cu2O nanoparticles-coated reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite," Biomolecules, vol. 9, pp. 176, 2019. DOI:

R. Siburian, H. Sihotang, S. L. Raja, M. Supeno, and C. Simanjuntak, "New route to synthesize of graphene nano sheets," Oriental Journal of Chemistry, vol. 34, pp. 182, 2018. DOI:

C.-S. Yang, Z. Sun, C.-H. Cui, C. Yang, and T. Zhang, "Metal nano-drills directionally regulate pore structure in carbon," Carbon, vol. 175, pp. 60-68, 2021. DOI:

H. Fei, Z. Peng, L. Li, Y. Yang, W. Lu, E. L. Samuel, X. Fan, and J. M. Tour, "Preparation of carbon-coated iron oxide nanoparticles dispersed on graphene sheets and applications as advanced anode materials for lithium-ion batteries," Nano Research, vol. 7, pp. 502-510, 2014. DOI:

A. Azam, A. S. Ahmed, M. Oves, M. Khana and A. Memic, "Size-dependent antimicrobial properties of CuO nanoparticles against Gram-positive and-negative bacterial strains," International journal of nanomedicine, vol. 7, pp. 3527, 2012.

P. Bhavyasree and T. Xavier, "Green synthesis of copper oxide/ carbon nanocomposites using the leaf extract of Adhatoda vasica Nees, their characterization and antimicrobial activity," Heliyon, vol. 6, p. e03323, 2020. DOI:

M. Hajipour, K. Fromm, A. A. Ashkarran, D. J. de Aberasturi, I. Larramendi, T. Rojo, V. Serpooshan, W. Parak, and M. Mahmoudi, "Antibacterial properties of nanoparticles," Trends in Biotechnology, vol. 30, pp. 499-511, 2012. DOI:

A. Azam, "Size-dependent antimicrobial properties of CuO nanoparticles against Gram-positive and -negative bacterial strains," International Journal of Nanomedicine, pp. 3527, 2012. DOI:

M. Al-Omar, M. Jabir, E. Karsh, R. Kadhim, G. Sulaiman, Z. Taqi, K. Khashan, H. Mohammed, R. Khan and S. Mohammed, "Gold nanoparticles and graphene oxide flakes enhance cancer cells’ phagocytosis through granzyme-perforin-dependent biomechanism," Nanomaterials, vol. 11, pp. 1382, 2021. DOI:

H. Hamouda, H. Abdel-Ghafar, and M. Mahmoud, "Multi-walled carbon nanotubes decorated with silver nanoparticles for antimicrobial applications," Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, vol. 9, pp. 105034, 2021. DOI:




How to Cite

S. CHANTHEE, J. JIRASANGTHONG, C. ASASVATESANUPAP, and M. SANTIKUNAPORN, “Synthesis and antimicrobial studies of nano-copper doped carbon substrates; activated carbon, reduced graphene oxide, and carbon nanofiber”, J Met Mater Miner, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 68–74, Sep. 2022.



Original Research Articles