What defines a chemical or compound colour?


pretty much what it says on the tin! what makes things different colours? (at an atomic level)

thanks alot


6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Hi Matthew

    With regards to elements such as gold and copper, they have their colours due to the ability of the metal to absorb and reflect or more correctly, transmit, certain wavelengths in the visible spectrum.

    In chemical compounds, its a similar phenomenon, but there are some chemical groups called 'Chromophores' which are well known for producing coloured compounds - especially organic.

    Some common chromophores are C--N groups, NH3-Aromatics, C-O groups and N-N groups.

  • JFK
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Different Ions Have Different Colours. Eg Copper Has A Blue Ion, And Chlorine Has A Colourless Ion. Therefore Copper(II)Chloride Has A Blue Colour.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is the energy levels of the electron orbitals in its structure and bonds. It is necessary that the material has differences in energy levels such that electron quantum jumps between these levels emit or absorb light in the visible spectrum.

    Colour also depends on temperature and this effect is used with thermochromic materials. As you push electrons up the energy levels with increasing temperature the corresponding wavelengths as they drop back to their ground states become shorter which is why matter has a tendency to go from red hot through to white hot with increasing temperature.

  • 1 decade ago

    For transition metals and their compounds it's usually d-d transitions (for pale colours) or electron transfer reactions (for strong colours such as permanganate)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the bonds. electrons in bonds absorb some colors and reflect others.

  • Erica
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    don"t know

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