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Experiment 2: A Study of Copper (II) Complexes with Different

1. To observe a various colour change in a complex ion due to ligand substitution



Copper Sulphate( 0.025 M CuSO4 )

Conical Flask (250 ml )

Concentrated ammonia solution (NH3)


Concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCl)



Boiling tube

Ethyldiaminetetraacetate (EDTA)
Potassium cyanate KCN ,1M

Transition metals differ from main group metals in several key properties. One of the more
interesting aspects of transition metals is their ability to form coordination compounds.
Coordination compounds are formed between a metal ion and a molecule with one or more
unshared electron pairs, called a ligand. Ligands may be classified according to the number of
donor atoms they contain. A monodentate ligand donates a single electron pair to the metal or
metal ion. Common examples of monodentate ligands include NH3, H2O, NO2-, and CN-. A
bidentate ligand, as the name suggests, donates two electron pairs to the metal or metal ion. A
good example is ethylenediamine,NH2CH2CH2NH2. Anions as well as neutral molecules may
act as ligands. If one or more neutral molecules coordinate to metal ion, the resulting species
retains the charge of the transition metal ion and is called a complex ion. For example, most
transition metal ions form complex ions with water molecules when in aqueous solution.
Examples include [Co(H2O)]6]3+ and [Ni(H2O)6]2+. If one or more anions coordinate to a
metal ion, a complex ion with an overall negative charge may result.

In writing formulas for complex ions and coordination compounds, the molecules inside the
brackets represent ligands physically coordinated to the metal ion. Anything outside of the
brackets is present for charge balance. Therefore the compounds [Co(H2O)6]Cl3 and
[Ni(H2O)6]Cl3 contain positively charged complex ions in which the chloride ions are present
for charge balance. The compounds K3[Co(NO2)6] and K4[Fe(CN)6] contain negatively
charged complex ions with potassium ions present for charge balance

5ml of concentrated hydrochloric acid were placed inside a test tube. since hydrochloric acid is
corrosive, it was handled very carefully to not allow it make contact with skin or clothing. After
that, 5ml of each another ligand which were ammonia (NH3), ethylenediamine (en),
ethyldiaminetetraacetate (EDTA), potassium cyanate (KCN) were placed into another test tubes.
Then, 5ml of 0.025M CuSO4 was placed into a test tube and was marked as X. After that 5ml of
0.025M CuSO4 was added to each test tube. The colour changes in each of the test tube was
compared to the colour of solution in test tube x was observed and recorded.


Hydrochloric Acid
Oxalic Acid

Potassium Cyanate
Cooper Sulphate




Greenish Yellow


Dark Blue


Cloudy Blue




Pale Yellow

Pale Blue

Cooper Sulphate (CuSO4) when dissolved in water, it produces the pale-blue
[Cu(H2O)6]2+ ion. This colour of solution acted as the control for the experiment.
For the first test tube, CuSO4 was reacted with HCl. HCl which is colourless when
reacted with CuSO4 resulted with greenish yellow solution. The reaction that occurs was:
CuSO45H2O + 4Cl- [CuCl4]2- + SO42[CuCl4]2- is an ion with square planar geometry. For the second test tube, CuSO4 was reacted
with ammonia. Ammonia which is colourless when reacted with CuSO4 resulted with dark blue
solution. The reaction that occurs was:
CuSO4.5H2O + 4NH3 [Cu(H2O)2(NH3)4]2+ + SO42This reaction is usually used as a qualitative test for the copper (II) ion.For the third test tube,
CuSO4 was reacted with oxalic acid. Oxalic acid which is colourless when reacted with CuSO4
yielding cloudy blue solution. The reaction that occurs was:

For the fourth test tube, CuSO4 was reacted with Ethyldiaminetetraacetate (EDTA).
EDTA turns from colourless when reacted with CuSO4 to blue solution. The reaction that occurs
Cu2+(aq) + (EDTA)2(aq) Cu(EDTA)2(aq) + 2H+(aq)
EDTA2 forms a more stable complex and frees the indicator, which then displays its
original color. The appearance of the free indicator means that all metal ions have been
complexed by EDTA2, which signals the end point.
For the fifth test tube, CuSO4 was reacted with Potassium Cyanate (KCN). KCN turn into
pale yellow from its original colour which is yellow when reacted with CuSO4. The reaction that
occurs was:
2 KCN + CuSO4 Cu(CN)2 + K2SO

There are various changes of colour occur towards CuSO4 when reacting with different complex
ions. Greenish yellow solution formed when HCl is added, dark blue solution formed when NH3
is added, Cloudy blue formed when oxalic acid is added, clear blue solution formed when EDTA
is added and lastly pale yellow solution resulted when KCN is added.
House, J. E. (2013). Inorganic Chemistry 2nd Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.
McClure, M. (2009). Retrieved December 2, 2014, from University of North Carolina at Pembroke web
Silberberg, M. S. (2013). Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change 6th edition. New York: