Copper is a chemical element that has an atomic number 29. Its standard atomic weight is 63.546 and it is represented by the symbol Cu ( Latin: Cuprum). In the periodic table, it is in group 11 and period 4. It is a d-block element. It's electronic configuration is 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p6, 4s1, 3d10. There are 29 electrons, 29 protons and 35 neutrons. At STP it is solid and has a density of 8.96 g/cm3. Its melting point is 1357.77 K ?(1084.62 °C, ?1984.32 °F) and its boiling point is 2835 K ?(2562 °C, ?4643 °F). Its electronegativity is 1.90 (Pauling scale) and its oxidation state is −2, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4 depending on the bonding atom.
Copper has 27 radioisotopes and two stable isotopes Cu-63 and Cu-65. Copper-63 has an abundance of 69.17% and Copper-65 has 30.83% abundance. It is a soft and ductile metal with high electrical and heat conductivity. It has a red-orange metallic appearance.
Copper, Silver and gold have filled d-shell which contribute little to interatomic interactions. This enhances the low hardness and high ductility of Copper crystals.
Copper could be found in different ores such as Dioptase, Enargite, Chrysocolla, Chalcopyrite, Covellite and Chalcocite, etc. British Geological Survey, in 2005 ranked Chile as the top producers of Copper. Other countries in the list are followed by the United States, Indonesia and Peru.
Copper has a wide range of uses some of the following are:
Antimicrobial and Antibiofouling:
Copper is a biostatic agent stopping bacteria from growing. It has natural properties which prevent a wide range of bacterial growth. Such as E. coli, Clostridium difficile, influenza A virus, adenovirus, and fungi.
Electronics and Electric motors:
Copper is used in printed circuit boards and Integrated circuits because it has high electrical conductivity than Aluminum and other metals. Other uses can be found in the microwave oven as magnetrons, electromagnets, vacuum tubes and cathode ray tubes. Copper is used in wires, cables and other electrical conductors. Copper paint is used to control the growth of plants and algae on the boat hulls. It is also used in alloys such as bronze and brass.