I have a problem with luminescese in of Cu(II) in aq. solution.
A little bit of background.
I am not a chemist, never done chemistry professionally and the last time I had a chemistry class was when I studied Biology some years back.
This is for some self-made presents I want to hand out around Christmas.
I want to make some lamps akin to the self-made Nuka Cola bottles.
While I like the blue glow, quinine is a restricted substance as it is poisonous in larger quantities.
That and the fact that tonic water contains sugar, makes it an unsuitable substance to use.
After having done some reading, I found that copper provides a nice green glow (at least that is what the Balmer-Rydberg equation says), I would like to replicate.
My plan was to suspend copper in water, solidify the water using epoxy and mount a black light over the epoxy substrate leading to a nice ambient green glow.
So I bought some copper wire(not pure copper, I assume some iron to be in there as well, but copper will be the first to go), a cell-phone charger and a black light for testing.
Prepared the charger, stripped the copper wire and hung them, without them touching each other, on the opposite wires of the charger, in slightly salted(NaCL) water.
I get green foam alright (so Cu(II) is being created), but it is not reacting to the black light as expected.
Is the concentration to weak, too much water, is the black light too weak?
I assume I am missing something very fundamental here and I do not know of where to look specifically.
I might find it but most likely I will not as the body of knowledge regarding chemistry, especially phy. chemistry, which I never took to, is vast.
What would be worse would be to find s.th. that works as expected but is dangerous to handle, either by the recipient or me, so safety is paramount.
e.g. mixing vinegar and copper is a big no no.
I tend to try to work out the formula and looking up properties of products(transitional or final) of the compounds involved and only attempt it when I am successful and satisfied with my reading(safe to handle, easy to dispose of, etc.)
So, do you guys happen to have an idea of what I am doing wrong or can point me into a general direction of where I might find a safe solution.