Authored by: Inmaculada Yruela

Handbook of Plant Nutrition

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9781439881972
eBook ISBN: 9781439881989
Adobe ISBN:


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Copper (Cu) is a 3d10 transition metal that belongs to Group IB. It has an atomic number of 29 and an atomic mass of 63.546 amu. The melting point is 1083.0°C (1356.15 K, 1981.4°F), the boiling point is 2567.0°C (2840.15 K, 4652.6°F), and the density at 293 K is 8.96 g cm−3. Copper is an active oxidation–reduction transition metal that can exist as Cu2+ (Cu(II), cupric) and Cu+ (Cu(I), cuprous) ions. A single electron in the outer 4s orbital (4s1) confers this electronic characteristic, and this 4s1 electron is difficult to remove. The first and second ionization potentials are 7.72 and 20.29 eV, respectively. The fact that the second ionization potential is much higher that the first one means that several Cu+ species can exist. Copper is one of the few metals that exist in nature in elemental form, although the quantities in which it occurs in its free state are very small.

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