Grow Blue-Green Copper Acetate Crystals


Copper Acetate Monohydrate Crystals
Copper acetate crystals are blue-green in color. (Heiko4)

It’s easy to grow large naturally blue-green monoclinic crystals of copper acetate monohydrate [Cu(CH3COO)2·H2O].

Materials

You only need copper acetate and water, although a bit of vinegar can help dissolve stubborn solids.

  • Copper acetate monohydrate
  • Hot water
  • Acetic acid or vinegar (if necessary)
Copper Acetate Crystals
Copper Acetate Crystals (Choba Poncho, public domain)

Procedure

  1. Dissolve 20 grams of copper acetate monohydrate in 200 ml of hot water. If you don’t have a scale, don’t despair. Dissolve the copper acetate in warm water to create a saturated solution. You’ll know you have enough of the powder added when it stops dissolving in the liquid.
  2. If you see a scum of undissolved material, stir in a couple of drops of acetic acid (vinegar).
  3. Place the container in an undisturbed location to allow crystal to grow.
  4. Blue-green crystals should start to appear within a couple of days. You can allow them to grow on their own or can you can select one perfect crystal to use as a seed crystal to grow larger crystals.
  5. If you wish to grow a large single crystal, place the seed crystal in a new container and add the copper acetate solution from the old container.
  6. When you are pleased with the crystal, remove it and place it on a paper towel to dry.

You can also grow copper acetate crystals using a penny:

References

  • Kirchner, S. J.; Fernando, Q. (1980). “Copper(I) Acetate”. Inorg. Synth. 20: 53–55. doi:10.1002/9780470132517.ch16
  • Parish, E. J.; Kizito, S. A. (2001). “Copper(I) Acetate”. Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/047084289X.rc193

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.