Cu2+ (aq) reacts with ammonia to form the complex ion [Cu(NH)3)4]2+. Explain this reaction in terms of acid-base theory, and outline the bonding in the complex formed between Cu2+ and NH3

Ammonia acts as the Lewis base in this reaction by donating its lone pair of electrons, whilst Cu2+ (which is an electron deficient, electrophile) accepts the lone pair of electrons from the ammonia, making it a Lewis acid. The bond between Cu2+ and NH3 is a coordinate bond (also known as a dative bond), whereby the electrons in the bond are both donated by one species (in this case NH3). Thus NH3 is a ligand. Cu2+ is the electrophile (electron deficient) and NH3 is the nucleophile (electron rich). 

Sophie Z. IB Chemistry tutor, IB Economics tutor, IB Biology tutor, I...

5 months ago

Answered by Sophie, an IB Chemistry tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£20 /hr

Robbie S.

Degree: Chemistry (Masters) - University College London University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Maths


“I am an outgoing Chemistry student from UCl, who loves to share the knowledge I have with others. ”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Laura K.

Degree: Chemical Engineering (Masters) - Bath University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Science+ 3 more

Further Mathematics

“Hey there! I am Laura and I am currently studying Chemical Engineering at University of Bath. I am really passionate about Science and I am willing to share my knowledge through tutoring you. My passion and expertise in science can be...”

£20 /hr

Neringa K.

Degree: Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics (Bachelors) - Queen Mary, London ('15) University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Biology+ 1 more

-Personal Statements-

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

Sophie Z.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Chemistry (Bachelors) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Maths+ 3 more


“I am currently an (environmental) chemistry student at the University of Edinburgh, and I will be the first to admit I am a science geek. Now, if science is not your thing, I hope that by the end of one of my sessions you might start ...”

You may also like...

Other IB Chemistry questions

Sodium and sodium iodide can both conduct electricity when molten, but only sodium can conduct electricity when solid. Explain this difference in conductivity in terms of the structures of sodium and sodium iodide.

Describe how an increase in temperature affects the equilibrium of the main exothermic reaction of the Haber process?

Identify and explain the trend in atomic radius across a period

0.120g of an ideal gas was introduced into a gas syringe. The volume occupied by the gas at a pressure of 1.02x10^5 Pa and temperature 20 degrees was 49.3 cm^3. Calculate the molar mass of the gas.

View IB Chemistry tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss