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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 4 Issue 4 (1999) pp 131-133

Direct Synthesis in the Undergraduate Laboratory: Synthesis of Copper Complexes from Zero-Valent Metals as a Demonstration of Base- Catalyzed Direct Synthesis

B. I. Kharisov and M. A. Mendez-Rojas*

Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, San Nicolas de los Garza, N.L., Mexico. C.P.66450, A.P.18-F and Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129*

Published online: 2 August 1999

Abstract. Direct synthesis is an important and active research field for scientists and technologists involved with the use of elemental metals. An undergraduate laboratory demonstration is presented that exposes students to this important synthetic technique. The direct synthesis of [Cu(NH3)4]2+ and [Cu(en)2]2+ complexes in aqueous solution from zero-valent Cu metal is employed as an experiment illustrating the oxidizing properties of alkaline hydrogen peroxide solutions. The experiment also shows the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide catalyzed by the copper complexes. Finally, students can learn that the direct oxidation of metallic copper by alkaline hydrogen peroxide solution is an efficient and novel alternative approach to synthesize these and other copper complexes.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; inorganic chemistry; catalysis; peroxides; copper, metals; redox reactions

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (32 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Instructor’s Notes for the experiment (13 KB) 10.1007/s00897990310b

Student Handout for the experiment (9 KB) 10.1007/s00897990310c

Issue date: August 2, 1999

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