3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||98.999 g/mol|
|Appearance||white powder, slightly green from oxidized impurities|
|Melting point||423 °C (793 °F; 696 K) |
|Boiling point||1,490 °C (2,710 °F; 1,760 K) (decomposes)|
|0.047 g/L (20 °C)|
Solubility product (Ksp)
|Solubility||insoluble in ethanol
acetone; soluble in concentrated HCl, NH4OH
|Band gap||3.25 eV (300 K, direct)|
Refractive index (nD)
|F43m, No. 216|
a = 0.54202 nm
Lattice volume (V)
Formula units (Z)
|Safety data sheet||JT Baker|
Dangerous for the environment (N)
|R-phrases (outdated)||R22, R50/53|
|S-phrases (outdated)||(S2), S22, S60, S61|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|US health exposure limits (NIOSH):|
|TWA 1 mg/m3 (as Cu)|
|TWA 1 mg/m3 (as Cu)|
IDLH (Immediate danger)
|TWA 100 mg/m3 (as Cu)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
Copper(I) chloride, commonly called cuprous chloride, is the lower chloride of copper, with the formula CuCl. The substance is a white solid sparingly soluble in water, but very soluble in concentrated hydrochloric acid. Impure samples appear green due to the presence of copper(II) chloride.
- HgCl2 + 2 Cu → 2 CuCl + Hg
In 1799, J.L. Proust characterized the two different chlorides of copper. He prepared CuCl by heating CuCl2 at red heat in the absence of air, causing it to lose half of its combined chlorine followed by removing residual CuCl2 by washing with water.
An acidic solution of CuCl was formerly used for analysis of carbon monoxide content in gases, for example in Hempel's gas apparatus. This application was significant during the time that coal gas was widely used for heating and lighting, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Cu + 0.5 Cl2 → CuCl
Copper(I) chloride can also be prepared by reducing copper(II) chloride, e.g. with sulfur dioxide:
2 CuCl2 + SO2 + 2 H2O → 2 CuCl + H2SO4 + 2 HCl
Many other reducing agents can be used.
Copper(I) chloride has the cubic zincblende crystal structure at ambient conditions. Upon heating to 408 °C the structure changes to hexagonal. Several other crystalline forms of CuCl appear at high pressures (several GPa).
- CuCl + P(C6H5)3 → [CuCl(P(C6H5)3)]4
Although CuCl is insoluble in water, it dissolves in aqueous solutions containing suitable donor molecules. It forms complexes with halide ions, for example forming H3O+ CuCl2− with concentrated hydrochloric acid. It is attacked by CN−, S2O32−, and NH3 to give the corresponding complexes.
Solutions of CuCl in HCl or NH3 absorb carbon monoxide to form colourless complexes such as the chloride-bridged dimer [CuCl(CO)]2. The same hydrochloric acid solutions also react with acetylene gas to form [CuCl(C2H2)]. Ammoniacal solutions of CuCl react with acetylenes to form the explosive copper(I) acetylide, Cu2C2. Complexes of CuCl with alkenes can be prepared by reduction of CuCl2 by sulfur dioxide in the presence of the alkene in alcohol solution. Complexes with dienes such as 1,5-cyclooctadiene are particularly stable:
In absence of other ligands, its aqueous solutions are unstable with respect to disproportionation into Cu and CuCl2. In part for this reason samples in air assume a green coloration (see photograph in upper right).
- Cu + CuCl2 → 2 CuCl
- 6 CuCl + 3/2 O2 + 3 H2O → 2 Cu3Cl2(OH)4 + CuCl2
In organic synthesis
The reaction has wide scope and usually gives good yields.
Early investigators observed that copper(I) halides catalyse 1,4-addition of Grignard reagents to alpha,beta-unsaturated ketones led to the development of organocuprate reagents that are widely used today in organic synthesis:
This finding led to the development of organocopper chemistry. For example, CuCl reacts with methyllithium (CH3Li) to form "Gilman reagents" such as (CH3)2CuLi, which find extensive use in organic synthesis. Grignard reagents form similar organocopper compounds. Although other copper(I) compounds such as copper(I) iodide are now more often used for these types of reactions, copper(I) chloride is still recommended in some cases:
In polymer chemistry
CuCl is used as a catalyst in Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP).
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