Copper mirror

A thin shiny layer of copper covers the sides of beaker

Scientific name: Hydrazine reduces copper from salts


Copper mirror - Kupferspiegel

Make elemental Copper - Copper mirror chemical reaction!


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Reaction formula

2 CuSO4 + N2H4 → 2 Cu + N2 + 2 H2SO4

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Pour 50 ml of water into a small beaker.
  2. Dissolve 7 grams of copper sulphate in water.
  3. Add a small amount of hydrazine hydrate in the beaker.
  4. Heat the beaker in a water bath for copper deposition on the walls.
  5. Observe the formation of a smooth layer of metallic copper within 15 minutes.
  6. The layer of copper can easily be washed off using a brush.

Scientific background

Amongst the noble metals copper is most difficult to reduce. Hydrazine is one of the strongest reducing agents, due to the presence of nitrogen in a negative oxidation state in the molecule, which is soluble in water. These properties of hydrazine enable to obtain copper, which settle evenly on the sides of the beaker, from cupric sulphate.


Published on 15 May 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst