Tuhua Zhong

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Committee Chair

Gloria S Oporto

Committee Co-Chair

Benjamin Dawson-Andoh

Committee Member

Robin Hissam

Committee Member

Jacek Jaczynski

Committee Member

Gloria S Oporto

Committee Member

Xiaodong Shi


Copper has been used as a broad-spectrum biocide for centuries, showing effective antimicrobial performance against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Among various forms of copper, copper nanoparticles is attracting particular attention because of its high surface area and crystal morphology that will enhance copper antimicrobial properties. However, the high tendency of copper particles to aggregate at a nanoscale remains as a drawback for the development of copper-based nanostructured products. In this research, cellulose-based materials were utilized as a template and stabilizer for copper nanoparticles, and the resulting hybrid material was used as bi-functional material in thermoplastic resins improving the final antimicrobial and mechanical performance of the composites. This research work was divided in the following stages: 1) developing of a simple way to synthesize copper nanoparticles using cellulose raw material as template and stabilizer for copper; 2) evaluating the antimicrobial, thermal, mechanical, and copper release performance of films prepared by adding the hybrid cellulose-copper nanoparticles into a thermoplastic resin using a wet process; 3) investigating and characterizing composite materials after the incorporation of hybrids cellulose-copper nanoparticles on thermoplastic resins using a extrusion/film formation process (dry process); 4) evaluating drying methodologies to dry hybrid cellulose-copper nanoparticles suspensions determining their morphology, particle size, oxidation state of copper and copper crystallite size.