It’s easy to grow large naturally blue-green monoclinic crystals of copper acetate monohydrate [Cu(CH3COO)2·H2O].
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)
- 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.
- If you see a scum of undissolved material, stir in a couple of drops of acetic acid (vinegar).
- Place the container in an undisturbed location to allow crystal to grow.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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