Uncovering the Terahertz Spectrum of Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate

Michael T. Ruggiero, Timothy Michael Korter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Terahertz vibrational spectroscopy has evolved into a powerful tool for the detection and characterization of transition metal sulfate compounds, specifically for its ability to differentiate between various hydrated forms with high specificity. Copper(II) sulfate is one such system where multiple crystalline hydrates have had their terahertz spectra fully assigned, and the unique spectral fingerprints of the forms allows for characterization of multicomponent systems with relative ease. Yet the most commonly occurring form, copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate (CuSO4·5H2O), has proven elusive due to the presence of a broad absorption across much of the terahertz region, making the unambiguous identification of its spectral signature difficult. Here, it is shown that the sub-100 cm-1 spectrum of CuSO4·5H2O is obscured by absorption from adsorbed water and that controlled drying reveals sharp underlying features. The crystalline composition of the samples was monitored in parallel by X-ray diffraction as a function of drying time, supporting the spectroscopic results. Finally, the terahertz spectrum of CuSO4·5H2O was fully assigned using solid-state density functional theory simulations, helping attribute the additional absorptions that appear after excessive drying to formation of CuSO4·3H2O.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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