Common oxides (i.e., CuO or Al2O3) are capable of removal via NaOH solution. However, I am interested in removing a copper oxide layer inside an inert (Ar glovebox) environment. Thus, the traditional NaOH in a water solution (or a reaction with a water by product) does not necessarily work.

Can anyone suggest an alternative chemical method which can be used to remove CuO in glovebox?

  • $\begingroup$ What about diluted sulfuric acid? Upon reaction it gives copper sulfate, water-soluble $\endgroup$
    – user32223
    Jun 4, 2019 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Your ways are strange to us. CuO is not really eager to react with NaOH, and Al2O5 is not a thing at all. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2019 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, Al2O3. I'm not a chemist obviously. However, I did find multiple people who use NaOH to remove CuO. chemiday.com/en/reaction/3-1-0-1581 $\endgroup$
    – User2341
    Jun 5, 2019 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


Polishing with Cerium oxide, electrolytic cleaning, or diluted acid solution (nitric, hydrochloric, orthophosphoric, or hot acetic acid) are recommended in the Q&A on ResearchGate.net: "How to remove native oxide growth on copper or nickel foil?".

  • $\begingroup$ Acids (diluted or otherwise) is not something you normally bring into an Ar glovebox. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2019 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ Regardless, I don't want to use the some solution with water, because I'm in an Ar glovebox. The main purpose of the box is to remove water. Thus, also if there is some electrolytic cleaning solution that's suitable it also cant be water based.. $\endgroup$
    – User2341
    Jun 5, 2019 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ @User2341 that's fortunate, since cerium oxide isn't soluble in water you might want to mix it with something else. There are other oxides which are basic in nature, but I'll leave you to it. $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Jun 5, 2019 at 21:39

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