Copper(I) sulfide

Copper(I) sulfide
Copper(I) sulfide
CAS number 22205-45-4 YesY
PubChem 62755
ChemSpider 8305611 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:51114 YesY
RTECS number GL8910000
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula Cu2S
Molar mass 159.16 g/mol
Density 5.6 g/cm3 [1]
Melting point

1130 °C[2]

Solubility in water Insoluble
Solubility slightly soluble in HCl; soluble in NH4OH; dissolves in KCN; decomposes in HNO3, H2SO4
EU Index Not listed
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions Copper(I) oxide
Copper(I) selenide
Other cations Nickel(II) sulfide
Copper(II) sulfide
Zinc sulfide
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Copper(I) sulfide is a copper sulfide, a chemical compound of copper and sulfur. It has the chemical compound Cu2S. It is found in nature as the mineral chalcocite. It has a narrow range of stoichiometry ranging from Cu1.997S to Cu2.000S[3].


Preparation and Reactions

Cu2S can be prepared by heating copper strongly in sulfur vapour or H2S[2]. The reaction of copper powder in molten sulfur rapidly produces Cu2S, whereas pellets of copper require much higher temperature[4] Cu2S reacts with oxygen to form SO2:[5]

2Cu2S + 3O2 → 2Cu2O + 2SO2

In the production of copper two thirds of the molten copper sulfide is oxidised as above, and the Cu2O reacts with unoxidised Cu2S to give Cu metal:[5]

Cu2S + 2Cu2O → 6Cu + SO2


There are two forms of Cu2S a low temperature monoclinic form ("low-chalcocite") which has a complex structure with 96 copper atoms in the unit cell[6] and a hexagonal form stable above 104°C.[7] In this structure there are 24 crystallographically distinct Cu atoms and the structure has been described as approximating to a hexagonal close packed array of sulfur atoms with Cu atoms in planar 3 coordination. This structure was initially assigned an orthorhombic cell due to the twinning of the sample crystal.

There is also a crystallographically-distinct phase (the mineral djurleite) with stoichiometry Cu1.96S which is non-stoichiometric (range Cu1.934S-Cu1.965S) and has a monoclinic structure with 248 copper and 128 sulfur atoms in the unit cell [6]. Cu2S and Cu1.96S are similar in appearance and hard to distinguish one from another.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0070494398
  2. ^ a b Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, A. (1984). Chemistry of the Elements. Oxford: Pergamon. p. 1373. ISBN 0-08-022057-6. 
  3. ^ An electrochemical investigation of the system copper-sulfur, R. W. Potter, Economic Geology; 1977; 72;. 8; 1524-1542
  4. ^ The formation of Cu2S from the elements I. Copper used in form of powders, Blachnik R., Müller A., Thermochimica Acta, 361, 1-2, (2000), 31-52, doi:10.1016/S0040-6031(00)00545-1
  5. ^ a b Egon Wiberg, Arnold Frederick Holleman (2001) Inorganic Chemistry, Elsevier ISBN 0123526515
  6. ^ a b H. T. Evans "Djurleite (Cu1.94S) and Low Chalcocite (Cu2S): New Crystal Structure Studies" Science 203 (1979) 356
  7. ^ Wells A.F. (1984) Structural Inorganic Chemistry 5th edition Oxford Science Publications ISBN 0-19-855370-6
  8. ^ Copper coordination in low chalcocite and djurleite and other copper-rich sulfides, Evans H.T., American Mineralogist; August 1981, 66, 7-8, 807-818

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