Cu2O - Copper(I) Oxide

What is Copper(I) Oxide?

Copper(I) Oxide is also called as cuprous oxide an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Cu2O. It is covalent in nature. Copper(I) oxide crystallizes in a cubic structure. It is easily reduced by hydrogen when heated It undergoes disproportionation in acid solutions producing copper(II) ions and copper. When the cupric oxide is gently heated with metallic copper, it is converted into cuprous oxide. It acts as a good corrosion resistance, due to reactions at the surface between the copper and the oxygen in air to give a thin protective oxide layer.

Other names – Dicopper oxide, Red copper oxide, Cuprous oxide


Copper(I) Oxide


6 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

143.09 g/mol

Boiling Point

1,800 °C

Melting Point

1,232 °C

Chemical Formula


Copper(I) Oxide Structure – Cu2O

Copper(I) Oxide Structure

Physical Properties of Copper(I) Oxide – Cu2O


No odour


Red-coloured solid

Covalently-Bonded Unit


Heavy Atom Count





Insoluble in water

Chemical Properties of Copper(I) Oxide – Cu2O

  • Copper(I) oxide reacts with water in the presence of oxygen forms copper(II) hydroxide. The chemical equation is given below.
  • 2Cu2O + 4H2O + O2 → 4Cu(OH)2

  • Copper(I) oxide reacts with hydrogen chloride forms Copper(I) chloride and water. The chemical equation is given below.
  • Cu2O + 2HCl → 2CuCl + H2O

Uses of Copper Oxide – Cu2O

  • Used in antifouling paints for boat and ship bottoms; it is an effective control over corrosion.
  • Used in paints for glass and porcelain.
  • Used as a p-type semiconductor material that was used to make photocells for light meters and fabricate rectifiers.
  • Used as a fungicide and seed dressing.

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