Electronic Configuration Of Copper | 5 Important Points

Electronic Configuration Of Copper | 5 Important Points

What Is The Electronic Configuration Of Copper?

This article explains the electronic configuration of copper. The electronic configuration lists an element’s electrons, protons, and neutrons, determining its properties. Find out in this article what that list looks like for copper.


Copper is a metal with an atomic number of 29 on the periodic table. It has an electronic configuration of [Ar] 4s two 3d ten 4p one and is a good conductor of heat and electricity. Copper is a soft, easily workable metal. It also has a high thermal and electrical conductivity. It is one of the most abundant metals on earth. It is utilized in electrical wiring, plumbing, and many other uses. Copper was discovered in ancient times in Middle Asia.

Since copper was helpful for many things, humans have been using it for about 10,000 years (University of Illinois). Copper is an element that reacts with acids to produce hydrogen gas, water, heat, carbon dioxide, and some copper. It is a reddish-orange metal often used for wiring because it is cheap and flexible.

What Is The Electronic Configuration Of Copper?

Copper is one of the metalloid elements. When used as an electrical conductor, it has a deep blue color and a bright orange-red color when it has oxidation on it. It is also ductile, malleable, and resistant to corrosion and oxidation. Copper comes in two allotropes: alpha (with a cubic shape) and beta (with a hexagonal shape). Copper is best known for its electronic configuration: [Cu(s]=1s22s22p63s23p63d104s24d105.

 There is one electron in the 3d subshell, three in the 4s subshell, and 10 electrons in the 4p subshell.

What Is The Copper Atomic Mass? Copper’s atomic mass is 63.546 g/mol. It is a little lighter than gold (which has an atomic mass of 196.966), but it is heavier than mercury (200.59).

 What Is The Atomic Number Of Copper? Copper’s atomic number is 29. What Is The Electronegativity Of Copper? The electronegativity of copper is 1.9. What Is The Oxidation State Of Copper? The oxidation state of copper is +2. What Are Some Uses For Copper? Everyday use for copper (atomic number 29, symbol Cu) is the production of large electrical motors and generators because it is lightweight and can withstand high temperatures without corroding. 

Electronic Configuration Of Copper | 5 Important Points

Electronic Configuration Of Copper Explained

Copper’s electronic configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1, or [Ar] 3d10 4s2. Copper gas can be formed from sodium with water vapor or the reaction of a copper sulfate solution with an acid. It is a reddish-orange gas consisting of copper atoms, or Cu(g).

Copper’s electron configuration can be derived by adding one electron to the noble gas configuration of argon. Since it is an inert gas, helium has no additional electrons beyond its noble gas configuration. Copper’s electronic configuration, therefore, can be written as 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1.

It should be noted that copper has the same electronic configuration as tin and lead, but it is much more reactive. This is an example of the periodicity of the elements. Copper (Cu) has a mass number of 63 and an atomic number of 29. (29+63 = 92). It has 65 neutrons in its nucleus. Since each copper atom contains 29 protons, each copper atom has a net positive charge equal to +29. The total charge for each copper atom is therefore +29 x 0 (number of electrons) = 0.

Because each copper atom contains 29 protons and has a net charge of zero, it is a cation. Copper exists in nature as the ion Cu+ (). Thus, the chemical symbol for copper is Cu. The subscript “+” indicates that this ion is positive in charge; the superscript “2” indicates that there are two such ions per unit volume of solution (i.e., 1 + 2 = 3). The subscript “1/2” indicates that each Cu+ ion has a net charge of +1.

(Anions have negative charges and superscripts, such as 2-, 3-, etc.) The ionic radius for copper is 180 pm; therefore, the radius of the Cu+ ion is 180 divided by 2, or 90 pm. The radius of an oxygen atom is 116 pm. Whereas copper cations are small in size, the anions are large. 

How Did Scientists Determine The Electronic Configuration Of Copper?

Scientists could not figure out the copper electronic configuration experimentally. They came up with a plan to use lasers and electrons to study how electrons were arranged around the nucleus. We now know that there are five d-orbital sublevels. The five sublevels are labeled d1, d2, d3, d4, and d5, with d5 being the outermost sublevel.

In the d-orbital sublevels, the number of electrons increases as you move toward the nucleus. This pattern is similar to atomic orbitals in hydrogen or helium. The most common oxidation state of copper is CuII+. One atom will have two unpaired electrons occupying an s-orbital and three paired electrons occupying an s2p2 orbital. When in this configuration, most copper atoms are surrounded by eight other copper atoms.

Why Are Copper Alloys Used Instead of Pure Copper? Copper can be used for many industrial purposes because it is soft, malleable, and easy to cast. However, pure copper does not make the best form of construction material because it has a low melting temperature and decomposes when exposed to air.

Because of this, it is essential to combine copper with other metals to create alloys that have different properties. Some common alloys of copper include copper-silicon copper-zinc-copper-tin copper -germanium copper-bismuth copper-cadmium copper -antimony copper-nickel-copper-aluminum addition to being used to create alloys, copper is also used to make coins and jewelry.

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Copper is a transition element, meaning that it has properties of both metals and nonmetals. Like metals, it is ductile and can be hammered into sheets. It also tarnishes when exposed to air and reacts with some acids. Copper also has many oxidation states (at least 10), all stable. This means that copper doesn’t change its composition even if heated or cooled.

Other properties of copper vary with the oxidation state of the metal. The pure element is a reddish-brown that tarnishes to a dull gray color upon exposure to air. It is not affected by water, but it does react readily with acids. Soluble salts of copper are highly toxic and can be fatal if ingested. Copper(II) sulfate or cupric sulfate is added to drinking water in some countries because it binds with free chlorine and controls algae growth. This same substance is also used as an algaecide in swimming pool water.

The dust from copper(II) sulfate and other copper salts are toxic, as are fumes generated when these salts are dried or heated. Copper also reacts with many alcohols, acids, chlorides, and sulfur compounds to form highly toxic and volatile compounds. Most of these reactions concern the formation of copper salts that may be blue, green, or purple.

Electronic Configuration Of Copper | 5 Important Points

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