Copper(I) Oxide Semiconductors

Topics Covered

Description
Applications
Chemical Properties
Electrical Properties
Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties
Safety Information

Description

Copper (I) oxide or cuprous oxide is an inorganic compound having the formula Cu2O. It is a principal oxide of copper. It is a red colored solid, which is a component of certain antifouling paints. The compound may be red or yellow based on the particle size.

Copper(I) oxide is found as the reddish mineral cuprite. Cu2O crystallizes in a cubic structure having a lattice constant al = 4.2696 Å. The copper atoms arrange themselves in a fcc sub-lattice and the O atoms in a bcc sub lattice. Cu2O is probably the most studied semiconductor and a number of semiconductor applications were first demonstrated using this material.

Applications

Cuprous oxide is used commonly as a fungicide, a pigment and an antifouling agent for marine plants. Rectifier materials based on this material has been industrially used as early as 1924 long before silicon was made a standard.

Another application is in the Benedict’s test. This test helps detect the presence of sugars having a free ketone or an aldehyde group. All monosaccharides have a free reactive carbonyl group and are reducing sugars. Disaccharides such as sucrose are non-reducing sugars and do not react with benedict’s solution. The copper sulfate in Benedict’s solution reacts with electrons from the ketone or the aldehyde group to form a red-brown precipitate copper oxide. The solution’s final color decides how much reducing sugar is present.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of copper(I) oxide are provided in the table below:

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula Cu2O
Molecular Weight 143.09
CAS No. 1317-39-1
Group Copper – 11
Oxygen - 16
Crystal Structure Cubic
Lattice Constant 4.2696 Å

Electrical Properties

The electrical properties of copper(I) oxide are provided in the table below:

Electrical Properties
Dielectric Constant 18.1
Band Gap 2.137 eV

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

The thermal and mechanical properties of copper(I) oxide are provided in the tables below:

Thermal Properties
Heat of Formation -170 kJ/mol
Mechanical Properties
Melting Point 1232°C
Density 6.0 g/cm3

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H302 – Harmful if swallowed
H410 – Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects
Safety Precautions S 22 – Do not breathe dust
S 60 - This material and its container must be disposed of as hazardous waste
S 61 - Avoid release to the environment. Refer to special instructions/safety data sheet

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