Chemistry Students Etch Images on Copper Metal

Chemistry Students Etch Images on Copper Metal photo thumbnail142803
Rye Neck High School students – who have been learning about oxidation reduction reactions in Kelly Cappa’s Chemistry of Art class – recently worked in groups to etch images on copper metal to bring their studies to life. 

As part of the science experiment, the students used a black and white picture that was printed on a press-n-peel paper and transferred the image onto a square sheet of copper. Then, they hooked up the copper to electrodes, placed it into a sodium chloride solution and turned on the electricity to begin the etching process. 

“Etching is an example of an oxidation reduction reaction,” Cappa said. “The copper being etched is oxidized by a saltwater solution. Oxidation is often seen through rusting, but it is found in so many more places. This project gave my students a hands-on experience with one of the processes used.”