The Chemical Educator

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 131–133 | Cite as

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

  • M. A. Mendez-RojasEmail author
  • B. I. Kharisov
Laboratories and Demonstrations


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.


Hydrogen Copper Aqueous Solution Hydrogen Peroxide Research Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Christian UniversityFort Worth
  2. 2.Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo LeonMexico

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