Benzil/triethylamine: a photo-reducing system for Cu2+

Max Schmallegger, Georg Gescheidt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: We have investigated the photo-induced reduction of Cu2+–Cu0 using benzil/triethylamine mixtures. The formation of elemental Cu is indicated by the appearance of its characteristic plasmon absorption peaks at 515 nm and 620 nm. Importantly, the nature of the counterion of the Cu2+ salt affects the reduction process. In the presence of Cl, the reduction proceeds faster than with SO4 2-. Photo-induced electron transfer between excited benzil and triethylamine leads to the benzil radical anion, which acts as the reducing agent for Cu2+ and generates Cu0. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-504
Number of pages6
JournalMonatshefte für Chemie - Chemical Monthly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Metal reduction
  • Photo-induced electron transfer
  • Radicals
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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