Home-Made British Microscope (circa 1800s)

License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Loes Modderman

Cupric Sulfate

Cupric sulfate, the best known and most widely used of the copper salts, is also commonly known as blue vitriol, or blue stone. Occurring naturally in the minerals chalcanthite, hydrocyanite, and brochantite, cupric sulfate is synthetically prepared by treating copper oxides with sulfuric acid.

Cupric Sulfate

View another digital image of recrystallized cupric sulfate taken with the optical microscope.

Commercial industries, agriculture, and veterinary medicine use this versatile copper salt extensively. For instance, cupric sulfate is widely used in copper plating, wet-cell batteries, pigments, insecticides, and algaecides, and anhydrous forms of this blue, crystalline hydrate are employed as desiccating agents. Cupric sulfate is also commonly used as an algaecide and fungicide. Fertilizer additives, and topical anti-fungal preparations are additional areas in which cupric sulfate is employed.

Bright, blue-colored crystals are characteristic of cupric sulfate. Crystal formations of cupric sulfate actually begin as copper (II) sulfate, a compound that typically occurs as white rhombohedral crystals, or amorphous powders. After being dissolved in water, the striking, blue crystalline structures for which cupric sulfate is known begin to form. The uptake of water into the copper sulfate molecule creates the hydrate or water-containing compound. Each pentahydrate structure of blue vitriol is comprised of a group of five molecules of water that combine with a single molecule of copper sulfate. The water component of this hydrate structure is called water of crystallization. Heated above 150 degrees Celsius, the water of crystallization is driven off to leave an anhydrous salt compound. Pentahydrates, and the resultant dehydrated substances exhibit different properties in color, density, and crystal structure.


Questions or comments? Send us an email.
Photomicrographs are © 2000-2013 by Loes Modderman.
All Rights Reserved under copyright law.
© 1995-2015 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 01:18 PM
Access Count Since February 15, 2002: 15416
Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.