Letter | Published:

A Volatile Compound of Copper

Nature volume 160, page 21 (05 July 1947) | Download Citation



In search of the cause of a copper deposit formed in some incandescent lamps with copper electrodes, we examined the thermal decomposition of some organic copper salts. Cuprioxalate yields copper oxides, and cuprimesoxalate a mixture of copper oxides with elementary carbon. Cupriformate, however, decomposes at about 200°C., evolving partially a volatile compound of copper which immediately decomposes, forming a red smoke of elementary copper, and coating the near hot glass surface with a brilliant mirror of metallic copper. Where this mirror was thin, it resembled in every way the red deposit found in incandescent lamps.

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  1. Vavil Research Laboratory, Vacuumtechnical and Electric Co., Budapest.

    • F. KÖSY


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