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Copper(I) chloride (quite commonly called cuprous chloride), is the lower chloride of copper, with the formula CuCl. It occurs naturally as the mineral nantokite. This colorless solid is almost insoluble in water, and which tends to oxidize in air to green CuCl2. It is a Lewis acid which reacts with suitable ligands such as ammonia or chloride ion to form complexes, many of which are water-soluble. It is even able to form a stable complex with carbon monoxide in the presence of aluminum chloride as in the COPureSM process.
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Although CuCl is insoluble in water, it dissolves in aqueous solutions containing suitable donor molecules. It readily forms complexes with halide ions, for example forming H3O+ CuCl2- with concentrated hydrochloric acid. It also dissolves readily in solutions containing CN-, S2O32- or NH3.
Solutions of CuCl in HCl or NH3 absorb carbon monoxide to form colourless complexes such as the crystalline halogen-bridged dimer [CuCl(CO)]2. The same HCl solution can also react with acetylene gas to form [CuCl(C2H2)], while an NH3 solution of CuCl forms an explosive copper(I) acetylide with acetylene. Complexes of CuCl with alkenes can be made by reduction of CuCl2 by sulfur dioxide in the presence of the alkene in alcohol solution. Complexes with chelating alkenes such as 1,5-cyclooctadiene are particularly stable:
SO2 may be prepared in situ from sodium bisulfite (NaHSO3) or sodium metabisulfite (Na2S2O5) and acid. The reduction is carried out in hydrochloric acid, and the resulting CuCl2- complex is diluted to precipitate white CuCl (by driving the equilibrium using Le Chatelier's principle).
A major chemical use for copper(I) chloride is as a catalyst for a variety of organic reactions. Compared to other "soft" Lewis acids, it is much more affordable than non-toxic silver(I) chloride and palladium(II) chloride, and much less toxic than lead(II) chloride and mercury(II) chloride. In addition, it can undergo redox chemistry via copper(II) or copper(III) intermediates. This combination of properties make copper(I) salts invaluable reagents.
The reaction has wide scope, and usually gives good yields.
The observation 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:
Although other copper(I) compounds such as copper(I) iodide are now more often used for this type of reaction, there are cases where copper(I) chloride is particularly effective:
CuCl is used as a catalyst in Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Copper(I)_chloride". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|