What is the (II) beside copper of copper(II) hydroxide?



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Copper (II) hydroxide is Cu(OH)2.  It is also called cupric hydroxide.  The Roman numeral II denotes the level of positive charge on the copper cation.  Hydroxide (OH) always has a -1 charge, so the two of them are negated by the +2 charge on the copper to make a neutral compound.  Copper as a transition metal can form two different cations, Cu+1 and Cu+2.  The Roman numeral is used to distinguish between the two different possible cations.  If we were talking about CuOH, then the chemical name would be copper (I) hydroxide to denote a +1 charge on the copper.

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