Copernicium

Copernicium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Cn and atomic number 112. It is an extremely radioactive element, and can only be created in a laboratory. The most stable known isotope, copernicium-285, has a half-life of approximately 29 seconds. Copernicium was first created in 1996 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near Darmstadt, Germany. It is named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

In the periodic table of the elements, copernicium is a d-block transactinide element and a group 12 element. During reactions with gold, it has been shown[10] to be an extremely volatile metal, so much so that it is probably a gas at standard temperature and pressure.

Copernicium is calculated to have several properties that differ from its lighter homologues in group 12, zinc, cadmium and mercury; due to relativistic effects, it may even give up its 6d electrons instead of its 7s ones. Copernicium has also been calculated to possibly show the oxidation state +4, while mercury shows it in only one compound of disputed existence and zinc and cadmium do not show it at all. It has also been predicted to be more difficult to oxidize copernicium from its neutral state than the other group 12 elements.

Copernicium,  112Cn
Copernicium
Pronunciation/ˌkoʊpərˈnɪsiəm/ (KOH-pər-NIS-ee-əm)
Mass number285 (most stable isotope)
Copernicium in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson
Hg

Cn

(Uhh)
roentgeniumcoperniciumnihonium
Atomic number (Z)112
Groupgroup 12
Periodperiod 7
Blockd-block
Element category  post-transition metal, alternatively considered a transition metal
Electron configuration[Rn] 5f14 6d10 7s2 (predicted)[1]
Electrons per shell
2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 18, 2 (predicted)
Physical properties
Phase at STPunknown phase (predicted)
Boiling point357+112
−108
 K ​(84+112
−108
 °C, ​183+202
−194
 °F)[2]
Density when liquid (at m.p.)23.7 g/cm3 (predicted)[1]
Atomic properties
Oxidation states0, (+1), +2, (+4) (parenthesized: prediction)[1][3][4]
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 1155 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 2170 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 3160 kJ/mol
  • (more) (all estimated)[1]
Atomic radiuscalculated: 147 pm[1][4] (predicted)
Covalent radius122 pm (predicted)[5]
Other properties
Natural occurrencesynthetic
Crystal structurebody-centered cubic (bcc)
Body-centered cubic crystal structure for copernicium

(predicted)[6]
CAS Number54084-26-3
History
Namingafter Nicolaus Copernicus
DiscoveryGesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (1996)
Main isotopes of copernicium
Iso­tope Abun­dance Half-life (t1/2) Decay mode Pro­duct
277Cn syn 0.69 ms α 273Ds
281Cn syn 0.18 s[7] α 277Ds
282Cn syn 0.91 ms SF
283Cn syn 4.2 s[8] 90% α 279Ds
10% SF
EC? 283Rg
284Cn syn 98 ms SF
285Cn syn 28 s α 281Ds
286Cn syn 8.45 s ? SF

History

Discovery

Copernicium was first created on February 9, 1996, at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany, by Sigurd Hofmann, Victor Ninov et al.[11] This element was created by firing accelerated zinc-70 nuclei at a target made of lead-208 nuclei in a heavy ion accelerator. A single atom (a second was reported but was found to have been based on data fabricated by Ninov) of copernicium was produced with a mass number of 277.[11]

208
82
Pb + 70
30
Zn → 278
112
Cn* → 277
112
Cn + 1
0
n

In May 2000, the GSI successfully repeated the experiment to synthesize a further atom of copernicium-277.[12][13] This reaction was repeated at RIKEN using the Search for a Super-Heavy Element Using a Gas-Filled Recoil Separator set-up in 2004 and 2013 to synthesize three further atoms and confirm the decay data reported by the GSI team.[14][15] This reaction had also previously been tried in 1971 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia to aim for 276Cn (produced in the 2n channel), but without success.[16]

The IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party (JWP) assessed the claim of copernicium's discovery by the GSI team in 2001[17] and 2003.[18] In both cases, they found that there was insufficient evidence to support their claim. This was primarily related to the contradicting decay data for the known nuclide rutherfordium-261. However, between 2001 and 2005, the GSI team studied the reaction 248Cm(26Mg,5n)269Hs, and were able to confirm the decay data for hassium-269 and rutherfordium-261. It was found that the existing data on rutherfordium-261 was for an isomer,[19] now designated rutherfordium-261m.

In May 2009, the JWP reported on the claims of discovery of element 112 again and officially recognized the GSI team as the discoverers of element 112.[20] This decision was based on the confirmation of the decay properties of daughter nuclei as well as the confirmatory experiments at RIKEN.[21]

Work had also been done at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia from 1998 to synthesise the heavier isotope 283Cn in the hot fusion reaction 238U(48Ca,3n)283Cn; most observed atoms of 283Cn decayed by spontaneous fission, although an alpha decay branch to 279Ds was detected. While initial experiments aimed to assign the produced nuclide with its observed long half-life of 3 minutes based on its chemical behaviour, this was found to be not mercury-like as would have been expected (copernicium being under mercury in the periodic table),[21] and indeed now it appears that the long-lived activity might not have been from 283Cn at all, but its electron capture daughter 283Rg instead, with a shorter 4-second half-life associated with 283Cn. (Another possibility is assignment to a metastable isomeric state, 283mCn.)[22] While later cross-bombardments in the 242Pu+48Ca and 245Cm+48Ca reactions succeeded in confirming the properties of 283Cn and its parents 287Fl and 291Lv, and played a major role in the acceptance of the discoveries of flerovium and livermorium (elements 114 and 116) by the JWP in 2011, this work originated subsequent to the GSI's work on 277Cn and priority was assigned to the GSI.[21]

Naming

Nikolaus Kopernikus
Nicolaus Copernicus, who formulated a heliocentric model with the planets orbiting around the Sun, replacing Ptolemy's earlier geocentric model.

Using Mendeleev's nomenclature for unnamed and undiscovered elements, copernicium should be known as eka-mercury. In 1979, IUPAC published recommendations according to which the element was to be called ununbium (with the corresponding symbol of Uub),[23] a systematic element name as a placeholder, until the element was discovered (and the discovery then confirmed) and a permanent name was decided on. Although widely used in the chemical community on all levels, from chemistry classrooms to advanced textbooks, the recommendations were mostly ignored among scientists in the field, who either called it "element 112", with the symbol of E112, (112), or even simply 112.[1]

After acknowledging the GSI team's discovery, the IUPAC asked them to suggest a permanent name for element 112.[21][24] On 14 July 2009, they proposed copernicium with the element symbol Cp, after Nicolaus Copernicus "to honor an outstanding scientist, who changed our view of the world".[25]

During the standard six-month discussion period among the scientific community about the naming,[26][27] it was pointed out that the symbol Cp was previously associated with the name cassiopeium (cassiopium), now known as lutetium (Lu).[28][29] For this reason, the IUPAC disallowed the use of Cp as a future symbol, prompting the GSI team to put forward the symbol Cn as an alternative. On 19 February 2010, the 537th anniversary of Copernicus' birth, IUPAC officially accepted the proposed name and symbol.[26][30]

Isotopes

List of copernicium isotopes
Isotope
Half-life
[31]
Decay
mode[31]
Discovery
year
Reaction
277Cn 0.69 ms α 1996 208Pb(70Zn,n)
281Cn 0.18 s α 2010 285Fl(—,α)
282Cn 0.8 ms SF 2002 294Og(—,3α)
283Cn 4 s α, SF, EC? 1998 238U(48Ca,3n)
284Cn 97 ms α, SF 2002 288Fl(—,α)
285Cn 29 s α 1999 289Fl(—,α)
286Cn 8.45 s ? SF 2016 294Lv(—,2α)

Copernicium has no stable or naturally occurring isotopes. Several radioactive isotopes have been synthesized in the laboratory, either by fusing two atoms or by observing the decay of heavier elements. Seven different isotopes have been reported with atomic masses from 281 to 286, and 277. Most of these decay predominantly through alpha decay, but some undergo spontaneous fission, and copernicium-283 may have an electron capture branch.[31]

The isotope copernicium-283 was instrumental in the confirmation of the discoveries of the elements flerovium and livermorium.[32]

Half-lives

All copernicium isotopes are extremely unstable and radioactive; in general, heavier isotopes are more stable than the lighter. The most stable known isotope, 285Cn, has a half-life of 29 seconds; 283Cn has a half-life of 4 seconds, and the unconfirmed 286Cn has a half-life of about 8.45 seconds. Other isotopes have half-lives shorter than one second. 281Cn and 284Cn both have half-lives on the order of 0.1 seconds, and the other two isotopes have half-lives slightly under one millisecond.[31] It is predicted that the heavy isotopes 291Cn and 293Cn may have half-lives longer than a few decades, and may have been produced in the r-process and be detectable in cosmic rays, though they would be about 10−12 times as abundant as lead.[33]

The lightest isotopes of copernicium have been synthesized by direct fusion between two lighter nuclei and as decay products (except for 277Cn, which is not known to be a decay product), while the heavier isotopes are only known to be produced by decay of heavier nuclei. The heaviest isotope produced by direct fusion is 283Cn; the three heavier isotopes, 284Cn, 285Cn, and 286Cn, have only been observed as decay products of elements with larger atomic numbers.[31]

In 1999, American scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, announced that they had succeeded in synthesizing three atoms of 293Og.[34] These parent nuclei were reported to have successively emitted three alpha particles to form copernicium-281 nuclei, which were claimed to have undergone alpha decay, emitting alpha particles with decay energy 10.68 MeV and half-life 0.90 ms, but their claim was retracted in 2001.[35] This isotope, however, was produced in 2010 by the same team. The new data contradicted the previous (fabricated)[36] data.[37]

Predicted properties

Chemical

Copernicium is the tenth and last member of the 6d series and is the heaviest group 12 element in the periodic table, below zinc, cadmium and mercury. It is predicted to differ significantly from the lighter group 12 elements. The valence s-subshells of the group 12 elements and period 7 elements are expected to be relativistically contracted most strongly at copernicium. This and the closed-shell configuration of copernicium result in it probably being a very noble metal. Its metallic bonds should also be very weak, possibly making it extremely volatile, like the noble gases, and potentially making it gaseous at room temperature.[1][38] However, it should be able to form metal–metal bonds with copper, palladium, platinum, silver, and gold; these bonds are predicted to be only about 15–20 kJ/mol weaker than the analogous bonds with mercury.[1]

Once copernicium is ionized, its chemistry may present several differences from those of zinc, cadmium, and mercury. Due to the stabilization of 7s electronic orbitals and destabilization of 6d ones caused by relativistic effects, Cn2+ is likely to have a [Rn]5f146d87s2 electronic configuration, using the 6d orbitals before the 7s one, unlike its homologues. The fact that the 6d electrons participate more readily in chemical bonding means that once copernicium is ionized, it may behave more like a transition metal than its lighter homologues, especially in the possible +4 oxidation state. In aqueous solutions, copernicium may form the +2 and perhaps +4 oxidation states.[1] The diatomic ion Hg2+
2
, featuring mercury in the +1 oxidation state, is well-known, but the Cn2+
2
ion is predicted to be unstable or even non-existent.[1] Copernicium(II) fluoride, CnF2, should be more unstable than the analogous mercury compound, mercury(II) fluoride (HgF2), and may even decompose spontaneously into its constituent elements. In polar solvents, copernicium is predicted to preferentially form the CnF
5
and CnF
3
anions rather than the analogous neutral fluorides (CnF4 and CnF2, respectively), although the analogous bromide or iodide ions may be more stable towards hydrolysis in aqueous solution. The anions CnCl2−
4
and CnBr2−
4
should also be able to exist in aqueous solution.[1] Nevertheless, more recent experiments have cast doubt on the possible existence of HgF4, and indeed some calculations suggest that both HgF4 and CnF4 are actually unbound and of doubtful existence.[39] Analogous to mercury(II) cyanide (Hg(CN)2), copernicium is expected to form a stable cyanide, Cn(CN)2.[40]

Physical and atomic

Copernicium should be a very heavy metal with a density of around 23.7 g/cm3 in the solid state; in comparison, the most dense known element that has had its density measured, osmium, has a density of only 22.61 g/cm3. This results from copernicium's high atomic weight, the lanthanide and actinide contractions, and relativistic effects, although production of enough copernicium to measure this quantity would be impractical, and the sample would quickly decay.[1] However, some calculations predict copernicium to be a gas at room temperature, the first gaseous metal in the periodic table[1][38] (the second being flerovium, eka-lead), due to the closed-shell electron configurations of copernicium and flerovium.[41] The atomic radius of copernicium is expected to be around 147 pm. Due to the relativistic stabilization of the 7s orbital and destabilization of the 6d orbital, the Cn+ and Cn2+ ions are predicted to give up 6d electrons instead of 7s electrons, which is the opposite of the behavior of its lighter homologues.[1]

In addition to the relativistic contraction and binding of the 7s subshell, the 6d5/2 orbital is expected to be destabilized due to spin-orbit coupling, making it behave similarly to the 7s orbital in terms of size, shape, and energy. Calculations in 2007 expected that copernicium may therefore be a semiconductor[2] with a band gap of around 0.2 eV,[42] crystallizing in the hexagonal close-packed crystal structure.[42] However, calculations in 2017 and 2018 suggested that copernicium should be a noble metal at standard conditions with a body-centered cubic crystal structure: it should hence have no band gap, like mercury, although the density of states at the Fermi level is expected to be lower for copernicium than for mercury.[6][43] Like mercury, radon, and flerovium, but not oganesson (eka-radon), copernicium is calculated to have no electron affinity.[44]

Experimental atomic gas phase chemistry

Interest in copernicium's chemistry was sparked by predictions that it would have the largest relativistic effects in the whole of period 7 and group 12, and indeed among all 118 known elements.[1] Copernicium is expected to have the ground state electron configuration [Rn]5f146d107s2 and thus should belong to group 12 of the periodic table, according to the Aufbau principle. As such, it should behave as the heavier homologue of mercury and form strong binary compounds with noble metals like gold. Experiments probing the reactivity of copernicium have focused on the adsorption of atoms of element 112 onto a gold surface held at varying temperatures, in order to calculate an adsorption enthalpy. Owing to relativistic stabilization of the 7s electrons, copernicium shows radon-like properties. Experiments were performed with the simultaneous formation of mercury and radon radioisotopes, allowing a comparison of adsorption characteristics.[45]

The first chemical experiments on copernicium were conducted using the 238U(48Ca,3n)283Cn reaction. Detection was by spontaneous fission of the claimed parent isotope with half-life of 5 minutes. Analysis of the data indicated that copernicium was more volatile than mercury and had noble gas properties. However, the confusion regarding the synthesis of copernicium-283 has cast some doubt on these experimental results.[45] Given this uncertainty, between April–May 2006 at the JINR, a FLNR–PSI team conducted experiments probing the synthesis of this isotope as a daughter in the nuclear reaction 242Pu(48Ca,3n)287Fl.[45] (The 242Pu + 48Ca fusion reaction has a slightly larger cross-section than the 238U + 48Ca reaction, so that the best way to produce copernicium for chemical experimentation is as an overshoot product as the daughter of flerovium.)[46] In this experiment, two atoms of copernicium-283 were unambiguously identified and the adsorption properties indicated that copernicium is a more volatile homologue of mercury, due to formation of a weak metal-metal bond with gold, placing it firmly in group 12.[45] This agrees with general indications from relativistic calculations that copernicium is "more or less" homologous to mercury.[47]

In April 2007, this experiment was repeated and a further three atoms of copernicium-283 were positively identified. The adsorption property was confirmed and indicated that copernicium has adsorption properties completely in agreement with being the heaviest member of group 12.[45] These experiments also allowed the first experimental estimation of copernicium's boiling point: 84+112
−108
 °C, so that it may be a gas at standard conditions.[2]

Because the lighter group 12 elements often occur as chalcogenide ores, experiments were conducted in 2015 to attempt to deposit copernicium atoms on a selenium surface to form copernicium selenide, CnSe. Reaction of copernicium atoms with trigonal selenium to form a selenide were observed, with ΔHadsCn(t-Se) > 48 kJ/mol, with the kinetic hindrance towards selenide formation being lower for copernicium than for mercury. This was unexpected as the stability of the group 12 selenides tends to decrease down the group from ZnSe to HgSe, while it increases down the group for the group 14 selenides from GeSe to PbSe.[48]

See also

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External links

Cyclopentadiene

Cyclopentadiene is an organic compound with the formula C5H6. This colorless liquid has a strong and unpleasant odor. At room temperature, this cyclic diene dimerizes over the course of hours to give dicyclopentadiene via a Diels–Alder reaction. This dimer can be restored by heating to give the monomer.

The compound is mainly used for the production of cyclopentene and its derivatives. It is popularly used as a precursor to the cyclopentadienyl ligand (Cp) in cyclopentadienyl complexes in organometallic chemistry.

Darmstadtium

Darmstadtium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element. The most stable known isotope, darmstadtium-281, has a half-life of approximately 10 seconds. Darmstadtium was first created in 1994 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near the city of Darmstadt, Germany, after which it was named.

In the periodic table, it is a d-block transactinide element. It is a member of the 7th period and is placed in the group 10 elements, although no chemical experiments have yet been carried out to confirm that it behaves as the heavier homologue to platinum in group 10 as the eighth member of the 6d series of transition metals. Darmstadtium is calculated to have similar properties to its lighter homologues, nickel, palladium, and platinum.

Extended periodic table

An extended periodic table theorizes about chemical elements beyond those currently known in the periodic table and proven up through oganesson, which completes the seventh period (row) in the periodic table at atomic number (Z) 118.

If further elements with higher atomic numbers than this are discovered, they will be placed in additional periods, laid out (as with the existing periods) to illustrate periodically recurring trends in the properties of the elements concerned. Any additional periods are expected to contain a larger number of elements than the seventh period, as they are calculated to have an additional so-called g-block, containing at least 18 elements with partially filled g-orbitals in each period.An eight-period table containing this block was suggested by Glenn T. Seaborg in 1969. The first element of the g-block may have atomic number 121, and thus would have the systematic name unbiunium. Despite many searches, no elements in this region have been synthesized or discovered in nature.According to the orbital approximation in quantum mechanical descriptions of atomic structure, the g-block would correspond to elements with partially filled g-orbitals, but spin-orbit coupling effects reduce the validity of the orbital approximation substantially for elements of high atomic number. While Seaborg's version of the extended period had the heavier elements following the pattern set by lighter elements, as it did not take into account relativistic effects, models that take relativistic effects into account do not. Pekka Pyykkö and Burkhard Fricke used computer modeling to calculate the positions of elements up to Z = 172, and found that several were displaced from the Madelung rule. As a result of uncertainty and variability in predictions of chemical and physical properties of elements beyond 120, there is currently no consensus on their placement in the extended periodic table.

Elements in this region are likely to be highly unstable with respect to radioactive decay and undergo alpha decay or spontaneous fission with extremely short half-lives, though element 126 is hypothesized to be within an island of stability that is resistant to fission but not to alpha decay. Other islands of stability beyond the known elements may also be possible, including one theorized around element 164, though the extent of stabilizing effects from closed nuclear shells is uncertain. It is not clear how many elements beyond the expected island of stability are physically possible, whether period 8 is complete, or if there is a period 9. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) defines an element to exist if its lifetime is longer than 10−14 seconds (0.01 picoseconds, or 10 femtoseconds), which is the time it takes for the nucleus to form an electron cloud.As early as 1940, it was noted that a simplistic interpretation of the relativistic Dirac equation runs into problems with electron orbitals at Z > 1/α ≈ 137, suggesting that neutral atoms cannot exist beyond element 137, and that a periodic table of elements based on electron orbitals therefore breaks down at this point. On the other hand, a more rigorous analysis calculates the analogous limit to be Z ≈ 173 where the 1s subshell dives into the Dirac sea, and that it is instead not neutral atoms that cannot exist beyond element 173, but bare nuclei, thus posing no obstacle to the further extension of the periodic system. Atoms beyond this critical atomic number are called supercritical atoms.

Flerovium

Flerovium is a superheavy artificial chemical element with symbol Fl and atomic number 114. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element. The element is named after the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, where the element was discovered in 1998. The name of the laboratory, in turn, honours the Russian physicist Georgy Flyorov (Флёров in Cyrillic, hence the transliteration of "yo" to "e"). The name was adopted by IUPAC on 30 May 2012.

In the periodic table of the elements, it is a transactinide element in the p-block. It is a member of the 7th period and is the heaviest known member of the carbon group; it is also the heaviest element whose chemistry has been investigated. Initial chemical studies performed in 2007–2008 indicated that flerovium was unexpectedly volatile for a group 14 element; in preliminary results it even seemed to exhibit properties similar to those of the noble gases. More recent results show that flerovium's reaction with gold is similar to that of copernicium, showing that it is a very volatile element that may even be gaseous at standard temperature and pressure, that it would show metallic properties, consistent with it being the heavier homologue of lead, and that it would be the least reactive metal in group 14. The question of whether flerovium behaves more like a metal or a noble gas is still unresolved as of 2018.

About 90 atoms of flerovium have been observed: 58 were synthesized directly, and the rest were made from the radioactive decay of heavier elements. All of these flerovium atoms have been shown to have mass numbers from 284 to 290. The most stable known flerovium isotope, flerovium-289, has a half-life of around 2.6 seconds, but it is possible that the unconfirmed flerovium-290 with one extra neutron may have a longer half-life of 19 seconds; this would be one of the longest half-lives of any isotope of any element at these farthest reaches of the periodic table. Flerovium is predicted to be near the centre of the theorized island of stability, and it is expected that heavier flerovium isotopes, especially the possibly doubly magic flerovium-298, may have even longer half-lives.

Gottfried Münzenberg

Gottfried Münzenberg (born 17 March 1940 in Nordhausen, Province of Saxony) is a German physicist.

He studied physics at Justus-Liebig-Universität in Giessen and Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck and completed his studies with a Ph.D. at the University of Giessen, Germany, in 1971. In 1976 he moved to the department of nuclear chemistry at GSI in Darmstadt, Germany, which was headed by Peter Armbruster. He played a leading role in the construction of SHIP, the 'Separator of Heavy Ion Reaction Products'. He was the driving force in the discovery of the cold heavy ion fusion and the discovery of the elements bohrium (Bh Z=107), hassium (Hs Z=108), meitnerium (Mt Z=109), darmstadtium (Ds Z=110), roentgenium (Rg Z=111) and copernicium (Cn Z=112). In 1984 he became head of the new GSI project, the fragment separator, a project which opened new research topics, such as interactions of relativistic heavy ions with matter, production and separation of exotic nuclear beams and structure of exotic nuclei. He directed the Nuclear Structure and Nuclear Chemistry department of the GSI and was professor of physics at the University of Mainz until he retired in March 2005.

Gottfried Münzenberg was born into a family of Protestant ministers (father Pastor Heinz and mother Helene Münzenberg). All his life he is deeply concerned about the philosophical and theological implications of physics.

Among the rewards he received should be mentioned the Röntgen-Prize of the University of Giessen in 1983 and (together with Sigurd Hofmann) the Otto-Hahn-Prize of the city of Frankfurt/Main in 1996.

Group 12 element

Group 12, by modern IUPAC numbering, is a group of chemical elements in the periodic table. It includes zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg). The further inclusion of copernicium (Cn) in group 12 is supported by recent experiments on individual copernicium atoms. Formerly this group was named IIB (pronounced as "group two B", as the "II" is a Roman numeral) by CAS and old IUPAC system.The three group 12 elements that occur naturally are zinc, cadmium and mercury. They are all widely used in electric and electronic applications, as well as in various alloys. The first two members of the group share similar properties as they are solid metals under standard conditions. Mercury is the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature. While zinc is very important in the biochemistry of living organisms, cadmium and mercury are both highly toxic. As copernicium does not occur in nature, it has to be synthesized in the laboratory.

Inorganic compounds by element

This is a list of common inorganic and organometallic compounds of each element. Compounds are listed alphabetically by their chemical element name rather than by symbol, as in list of inorganic compounds.

Island of stability

In nuclear physics, the island of stability is the prediction that a set of superheavy nuclides with magic numbers of protons and neutrons will temporarily reverse the trend of decreasing stability in elements heavier than uranium. Various predictions have been made regarding the exact location of the island of stability, though it is generally thought to center near copernicium and flerovium isotopes (such as 291Cn, 293Cn, and 298Fl) approaching the predicted closed shell at N = 184. It is thought that the closed shell will confer additional stability towards fission, while also leading to longer half-lives towards alpha decay. While these effects are expected to be greatest near Z = 114 and N = 184, the region of increased stability is expected to encompass several neighboring elements, and there may also be additional islands of stability around heavier doubly magic nuclei. Estimates of the stability of the elements on the island are usually around a half-life of minutes or days; however, some estimates predict half-lives of millions of years.Although the nuclear shell model predicting magic numbers has existed since the 1940s, the existence of long-lived superheavy nuclides has not been definitively demonstrated. Like the rest of the superheavy elements, the nuclides on the island of stability have never been found in nature; thus, they must be created artificially in a nuclear reaction to be studied. Scientists have not found a way to carry out such a reaction; it is likely that new types of reactions will be needed to populate nuclei near the center of the island. Nevertheless, the successful synthesis of superheavy elements up to oganesson in recent years demonstrates a slight stabilizing effect around elements 110–114 that may continue in unknown isotopes, supporting the existence of the island of stability.

Isotopes of copernicium

Copernicium (112Cn) is a synthetic element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given. Like all synthetic elements, it has no stable isotopes. The first isotope to be synthesized was 277Cn in 1996. There are 6 known radioisotopes (with one more unconfirmed); the longest-lived isotope is 285Cn with a half-life of 29 seconds.

Isotopes of darmstadtium

Darmstadtium (110Ds) is a synthetic element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given. Like all synthetic elements, it has no stable isotopes. The first isotope to be synthesized was 269Ds in 1994. There are 9 known radioisotopes from 267Ds to 281Ds (with many gaps) and 2 or 3 known isomers. The longest-lived isotope is 281Ds with a half-life of 9.6 seconds.

Isotopes of roentgenium

Roentgenium (111Rg) is a synthetic element, and thus a standard atomic weight cannot be given. Like all synthetic elements, it has no stable isotopes. The first isotope to be synthesized was 272Rg in 1994, which is also the only directly synthesized isotope; all others are decay products of nihonium, moscovium, and tennessine, and possibly copernicium, flerovium, and livermorium. There are 7 known radioisotopes from 272Rg to 282Rg. The longest-lived isotope is 282Rg with a half-life of 2.1 minutes, although the unconfirmed 283Rg and 286Rg may have a longer half-life of about 5.1 minutes and 10.7 minutes respectively.

Major actinide

Major actinides is a term used in the nuclear power industry that refers to the plutonium and uranium present in used nuclear fuel, as opposed to the minor actinides neptunium, americium, curium, berkelium, and californium.

Mercury(IV) fluoride

Mercury(IV) fluoride, HgF4, is the first mercury compound to be reported with mercury in the oxidation state IV. Mercury, like the other group 12 elements (cadmium and zinc), has an s2d10 electron configuration and generally only forms bonds involving its 6s orbital. This means that the highest oxidation state mercury normally attains is II, and for this reason it is usually considered a post-transition metal instead of a transition metal. HgF4 was first reported from experiments in 2007, but its existence remains disputed; experiments conducted in 2008 could not replicate the compound.

Roentgenium

Roentgenium is a chemical element with symbol Rg and atomic number 111. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element that can be created in a laboratory but is not found in nature. The most stable known isotope, roentgenium-282, has a half-life of 100 seconds, although the unconfirmed roentgenium-286 may have a longer half-life of about 10.7 minutes. Roentgenium was first created in 1994 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near Darmstadt, Germany. It is named after the physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also spelled Roentgen), who discovered X-rays.

In the periodic table, it is a d-block transactinide element. It is a member of the 7th period and is placed in the group 11 elements, although no chemical experiments have been carried out to confirm that it behaves as the heavier homologue to gold in group 11 as the ninth member of the 6d series of transition metals. Roentgenium is calculated to have similar properties to its lighter homologues, copper, silver, and gold, although it may show some differences from them.

Synthetic element

In chemistry, a synthetic element is a chemical element that does not occur naturally on Earth, and can only be created artificially. So far, 24 synthetic elements have been created (those with atomic numbers 95–118). All are unstable, decaying with half-lives ranging from 15.6 million years to a few hundred microseconds.

Seven other elements were first created artificially and thus considered synthetic, but later discovered to exist naturally (in trace quantities) as well; among them plutonium—first synthesized in 1940—the one best known to laypeople, because of its use in atomic bombs and nuclear reactors.

Transactinide element

In chemistry, transactinide elements (also transactinides, superheavy elements, or super-heavy elements) are the chemical elements with atomic numbers from 104 to 120. Their atomic numbers are immediately greater than those of the actinides, the heaviest of which is lawrencium (atomic number 103).

Glenn T. Seaborg first proposed the actinide concept, which led to the acceptance of the actinide series. He also proposed the transactinide series ranging from element 104 to 121 and the superactinide series approximately spanning elements 122 to 153. The transactinide seaborgium was named in his honor.By definition, transactinide elements are also transuranic elements, i.e. have an atomic number greater than uranium (92).

The transactinide elements all have electrons in the 6d subshell in their ground state. Except for rutherfordium and dubnium, even the longest-lasting isotopes of transactinide elements have extremely short half-lives of minutes or less. The element naming controversy involved the first five or six transactinide elements. These elements thus used systematic names for many years after their discovery had been confirmed. (Usually the systematic names are replaced with permanent names proposed by the discoverers relatively shortly after a discovery has been confirmed.)

Transactinides are radioactive and have only been obtained synthetically in laboratories. None of these elements have ever been collected in a macroscopic sample. Transactinide elements are all named after physicists and chemists or important locations involved in the synthesis of the elements.

IUPAC defines an element to exist if its lifetime is longer than 10−14 seconds, which is the time it takes for the nucleus to form an electron cloud.

Transuranium element

The transuranium elements (also known as transuranic elements) are the chemical elements with atomic numbers greater than 92, which is the atomic number of uranium. All of these elements are unstable and decay radioactively into other elements.

Unbihexium

Unbihexium, also known as element 126 or eka-plutonium, is the hypothetical chemical element with atomic number 126 and placeholder symbol Ubh. Unbihexium and Ubh are the temporary IUPAC name and symbol, respectively, until the element is discovered, confirmed, and a permanent name is decided upon. In the periodic table, unbihexium is expected to be a g-block superactinide and the eighth element in the 8th period. Unbihexium has attracted attention, especially in early predictions targeting properties of superheavy elements, for 126 may be a magic number of protons near the center of an island of stability, leading to longer half-lives, especially for 310Ubh or 354Ubh which may also have magic numbers of neutrons.

Early interest in possible increased stability led to the first attempted synthesis of unbihexium in 1971 and searches for it in nature in subsequent years. Despite several reported observations, more recent studies suggest that these experiments were insufficiently sensitive; hence, no unbihexium has been found naturally or artificially. The stability of unbihexium is also widely debated, as the island of stability may in fact lie at a lower atomic number, closer to copernicium and flerovium.

Unbihexium is predicted to be a chemically active superactinide, exhibiting a variety of oxidation states from +1 to +8, and possibly be a heavier congener of plutonium. It is predicted to be the second element with an electron in a g orbital, a consequence of relativistic effects seen only in heavy and superheavy elements. An overlap in energy levels of the 5g, 6f, 7d, and 8p orbitals is also expected, which complicates predictions of chemical properties for this element.

Unbiunium

Unbiunium, also known as eka-actinium or simply element 121, is the hypothetical chemical element with symbol Ubu and atomic number 121. Unbiunium and Ubu are the temporary systematic IUPAC name and symbol respectively, until a permanent name is decided upon. In the periodic table of the elements, it is expected to be the first of the superactinides, and the third element in the eighth period: analogously to lanthanum and actinium, it could be considered the fifth member of group 3 and the first member of the fifth-row transition metals. It has attracted attention because of some predictions that it may be in the island of stability, although newer calculations expect the island to actually occur at a slightly lower atomic number, closer to copernicium and flerovium.

Unbiunium has not yet been synthesized. Nevertheless, because it is only three elements away from the heaviest known element, oganesson (element 118), its synthesis may come in the near future; it is expected to be one of the last few reachable elements with current technology, and the limit may be anywhere between element 120 and 124. It will also likely be far more difficult to synthesize than the elements known so far up to 118, and still more difficult than elements 119 and 120. The team at RIKEN in Japan has plans to attempt the synthesis of element 121 in the future after its attempts on elements 119 and 120.

The position of unbiunium in the periodic table suggests that it would have similar properties to its lighter congeners, scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, and actinium; however, relativistic effects may cause some of its properties to differ from those expected from a straight application of periodic trends. For example, unbiunium is expected to have a s2p valence electron configuration instead of the s2d of its lighter congeners in group 3, but this is not expected to significantly affect its chemistry, which is predicted to be that of a normal group 3 element; it would on the other hand significantly lower its first ionisation energy beyond what would be expected from periodic trends.

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