# Treatment of copper (0) with sodium hydroxide

I recently made self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols on a copper substrate. After scrubbing off the $\small{\ce{Cu2O}}$ top layer and rubbing the surface with ether and ethanol, I let my copper plates stand in a 5% (w/w) $\small{\ce{NaOH}}$ solution for 5 minutes, which I then throughly rinsed off with deionized water.

I'm wondering if I could skip this step. I'm not sure what it is needed for. My knowledge of chemistry tells me that $\small{\ce{Cu(0)}}$ should not react with sodium hydroxide. I'm also positive that any grease or other contaminants were washed off in the previous steps.

What do you think?

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