Rutherfordium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Rf and atomic number 104, named after physicist Ernest Rutherford. As a synthetic element, it is not found in nature and can only be created in a laboratory. It is radioactive; the most stable known isotope, 267Rf, has a half-life of approximately 1.3 hours.

In the periodic table of the elements, it is a d-block element and the second of the fourth-row transition elements. It is a member of the 7th period and belongs to the group 4 elements. Chemistry experiments have confirmed that rutherfordium behaves as the heavier homologue to hafnium in group 4. The chemical properties of rutherfordium are characterized only partly. They compare well with the chemistry of the other group 4 elements, even though some calculations had indicated that the element might show significantly different properties due to relativistic effects.

In the 1960s, small amounts of rutherfordium were produced in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in the former Soviet Union and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.[7] The priority of the discovery and therefore the naming of the element was disputed between Soviet and American scientists, and it was not until 1997 that International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) established rutherfordium as the official name for the element.

Rutherfordium,  104Rf
Pronunciation/ˌrʌðərˈfɔːrdiəm/ (listen) (RUDH-ər-FOR-dee-əm)
Mass number267 (most stable isotope)
Rutherfordium 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


Atomic number (Z)104
Groupgroup 4
Periodperiod 7
Element category  transition metal
Electron configuration[Rn] 5f14 6d2 7s2[1][2]
Electrons per shell
2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 10, 2
Physical properties
Phase at STPunknown phase (predicted)[1][2]
Melting point2400 K ​(2100 °C, ​3800 °F) (predicted)[1][2]
Boiling point5800 K ​(5500 °C, ​9900 °F) (predicted)[1][2]
Density (near r.t.)23.2 g/cm3 (predicted)[1][2][3]
Atomic properties
Oxidation states(+2), (+3), +4[1][2][3] (parenthesized: prediction)
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 580 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1390 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 2300 kJ/mol
  • (more) (all but first estimated)[2]
Atomic radiusempirical: 150 pm (estimated)[2]
Covalent radius157 pm (estimated)[1]
Other properties
Natural occurrencesynthetic
Crystal structurehexagonal close-packed (hcp)
Hexagonal close-packed crystal structure for rutherfordium

CAS Number53850-36-5
Namingafter Ernest Rutherford
DiscoveryJoint Institute for Nuclear Research and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1964, 1969)
Main isotopes of rutherfordium
Iso­tope Abun­dance Half-life (t1/2) Decay mode Pro­duct
261Rf syn 70 s[5] >80% α 257No
<15% ε 261Lr
<10% SF
263Rf syn 15 min[5] <100% SF
~30% α 259No
265Rf syn 1.1 min[6] SF
266Rf syn 23 s? SF
267Rf syn 1.3 h[5] SF



Rutherfordium was reportedly first detected in 1964 at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research at Dubna (then in the Soviet Union). Researchers there bombarded a plutonium-242 target with neon-22 ions and separated the reaction products by gradient thermochromatography after conversion to chlorides by interaction with ZrCl4. The team identified spontaneous fission activity contained within a volatile chloride portraying eka-hafnium properties. Although a half-life was not accurately determined, later calculations indicated that the product was most likely rutherfordium-259 (abbreviated as 259Rf in standard notation):[8]

+ 22

In 1969, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley conclusively synthesized the element by bombarding a californium-249 target with carbon-12 ions and measured the alpha decay of 257Rf, correlated with the daughter decay of nobelium-253:[9]

+ 12
+ 4

The American synthesis was independently confirmed in 1973 and secured the identification of rutherfordium as the parent by the observation of K-alpha X-rays in the elemental signature of the 257Rf decay product, nobelium-253.[10]

Naming controversy

Ernest Rutherford2
Element 104 was eventually named after Ernest Rutherford

The Russian scientists proposed the name kurchatovium and the American scientists suggested the name rutherfordium for the new element.[11] In 1992, the IUPAC/IUPAP Transfermium Working Group (TWG) assessed the claims of discovery and concluded that both teams provided contemporaneous evidence to the synthesis of element 104 and that credit should be shared between the two groups.[8]

The American group wrote a scathing response to the findings of the TWG, stating that they had given too much emphasis on the results from the Dubna group. In particular they pointed out that the Russian group had altered the details of their claims several times over a period of 20 years, a fact that the Russian team does not deny. They also stressed that the TWG had given too much credence to the chemistry experiments performed by the Russians and accused the TWG of not having appropriately qualified personnel on the committee. The TWG responded by saying that this was not the case and having assessed each point raised by the American group said that they found no reason to alter their conclusion regarding priority of discovery.[12] The IUPAC finally used the name suggested by the American team (rutherfordium) which may in some way reflect a change of opinion.[13]

As a consequence of the initial competing claims of discovery, an element naming controversy arose. Since the Soviets claimed to have first detected the new element they suggested the name kurchatovium (Ku) in honor of Igor Kurchatov (1903–1960), former head of Soviet nuclear research. This name had been used in books of the Soviet Bloc as the official name of the element. The Americans, however, proposed rutherfordium (Rf) for the new element to honor Ernest Rutherford, who is known as the "father" of nuclear physics. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) adopted unnilquadium (Unq) as a temporary, systematic element name, derived from the Latin names for digits 1, 0, and 4. In 1994, IUPAC suggested the name dubnium (Db) to be used since rutherfordium was suggested for element 106 and IUPAC felt that the Dubna team should be recognized for their contributions. However, there was still a dispute over the names of elements 104–107. In 1997 the teams involved resolved the dispute and adopted the current name rutherfordium. The name dubnium was given to element 105 at the same time.[13]


Isotope half-lives and discovery years
253Rf 48 μs α, SF 1994 204Pb(50Ti,n)[14]
254Rf 23 μs SF 1994 206Pb(50Ti,2n)[14]
255Rf 2.3 s ε?, α, SF 1974 207Pb(50Ti,2n)[15]
256Rf 6.4 ms α, SF 1974 208Pb(50Ti,2n)[15]
257Rf 4.7 s ε, α, SF 1969 249Cf(12C,4n)[9]
257mRf 4.1 s ε, α, SF 1969 249Cf(12C,4n)[9]
258Rf 14.7 ms α, SF 1969 249Cf(13C,4n)[9]
259Rf 3.2 s α, SF 1969 249Cf(13C,3n)[9]
259mRf 2.5 s ε 1969 249Cf(13C,3n)[9]
260Rf 21 ms α, SF 1969 248Cm(16O,4n)[8]
261Rf 78 s α, SF 1970 248Cm(18O,5n)[16]
261mRf 4 s ε, α, SF 2001 244Pu(22Ne,5n)[17]
262Rf 2.3 s α, SF 1996 244Pu(22Ne,4n)[18]
263Rf 15 min α, SF 1999 263Db(
263mRf ? 8 s α, SF 1999 263Db(
265Rf 1.1 min[6] SF 2010 269Sg(—,α)[20]
266Rf 23 s? SF 2007? 266Db(
267Rf 1.3 h SF 2004 271Sg(—,α)[23]
268Rf 1.4 s? SF 2004? 268Db(
270Rf 20 ms?[25] SF 2010? 270Db(

Rutherfordium 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. Sixteen different isotopes have been reported with atomic masses from 253 to 270 (with the exceptions of 264 and 269). Most of these decay predominantly through spontaneous fission pathways.[5][27]


Out of isotopes whose half-lives are known, the lighter isotopes usually have shorter half-lives; half-lives of under 50 μs for 253Rf and 254Rf were observed. 256Rf, 258Rf, 260Rf are more stable at around 10 ms, 255Rf, 257Rf, 259Rf, and 262Rf live between 1 and 5 seconds, and 261Rf, 265Rf, and 263Rf are more stable, at around 1.1, 1.5, and 10 minutes respectively. The heaviest isotopes are the most stable, with 267Rf having a measured half-life of about 1.3 hours.[5]

The lightest isotopes were synthesized by direct fusion between two lighter nuclei and as decay products. The heaviest isotope produced by direct fusion is 262Rf; heavier isotopes have only been observed as decay products of elements with larger atomic numbers, of which only 267Rf has been confirmed. The heavy isotopes 266Rf and 268Rf have also been observed as electron capture daughters of the dubnium isotopes 266Db and 268Db, but have short half-lives to spontaneous fission. It seems likely that the same is true of 270Rf, a likely daughter of 270Db.[26]

In 1999, American scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, announced that they had succeeded in synthesizing three atoms of 293Og.[28] These parent nuclei were reported to have successively emitted seven alpha particles to form 265Rf nuclei, but their claim was retracted in 2001.[29]

Predicted properties


Rutherfordium is the first transactinide element and the second member of the 6d series of transition metals. Calculations on its ionization potentials, atomic radius, as well as radii, orbital energies, and ground levels of its ionized states are similar to that of hafnium and very different from that of lead. Therefore, it was concluded that rutherfordium's basic properties will resemble those of other group 4 elements, below titanium, zirconium, and hafnium.[19][30] Some of its properties were determined by gas-phase experiments and aqueous chemistry. The oxidation state +4 is the only stable state for the latter two elements and therefore rutherfordium should also exhibit a stable +4 state.[30] In addition, rutherfordium is also expected to be able to form a less stable +3 state.[2] The standard reduction potential of the Rf4+/Rf couple is predicted to be higher than −1.7 V.[3]

Initial predictions of the chemical properties of rutherfordium were based on calculations which indicated that the relativistic effects on the electron shell might be strong enough that the 7p orbitals would have a lower energy level than the 6d orbitals, giving it a valence electron configuration of 6d1 7s2 7p1 or even 7s2 7p2, therefore making the element behave more like lead than hafnium. With better calculation methods and experimental studies of the chemical properties of rutherfordium compounds it could be shown that this does not happen and that rutherfordium instead behaves like the rest of the group 4 elements.[2][30]

In an analogous manner to zirconium and hafnium, rutherfordium is projected to form a very stable, refractory oxide, RfO2. It reacts with halogens to form tetrahalides, RfX4, which hydrolyze on contact with water to form oxyhalides RfOX2. The tetrahalides are volatile solids existing as monomeric tetrahedral molecules in the vapor phase.[30]

In the aqueous phase, the Rf4+ ion hydrolyzes less than titanium(IV) and to a similar extent as zirconium and hafnium, thus resulting in the RfO2+ ion. Treatment of the halides with halide ions promotes the formation of complex ions. The use of chloride and bromide ions produces the hexahalide complexes RfCl2−
and RfBr2−
. For the fluoride complexes, zirconium and hafnium tend to form hepta- and octa- complexes. Thus, for the larger rutherfordium ion, the complexes RfF2−
, RfF3−
and RfF4−
are possible.[30]

Physical and atomic

Rutherfordium is expected to be a solid under normal conditions and assume a hexagonal close-packed crystal structure (c/a = 1.61), similar to its lighter congener hafnium.[4] It should be a very heavy metal with a density of around 23.2 g/cm3; in comparison, the densest known element that has had its density measured, osmium, has a density of 22.61 g/cm3. This results from rutherfordium's high atomic weight, the lanthanide and actinide contractions, and relativistic effects, although production of enough rutherfordium to measure this quantity would be impractical, and the sample would quickly decay. The atomic radius for rutherfordium is expected to be around 150 pm. Due to the relativistic stabilization of the 7s orbital and destabilization of the 6d orbital, the Rf+ and Rf2+ ions are predicted to give up 6d electrons instead of 7s electrons, which is the opposite of the behavior of its lighter homologues.[2]

Experimental chemistry

Summary of compounds and complex ions
Formula Names
RfCl4 rutherfordium tetrachloride, rutherfordium(IV) chloride
RfBr4 rutherfordium tetrabromide, rutherfordium(IV) bromide
RfOCl2 rutherfordium oxychloride, rutherfordyl(IV) chloride,
rutherfordium(IV) dichloride oxide
[RfCl6]2− hexachlororutherfordate(IV)
[RfF6]2− hexafluororutherfordate(IV)
K2[RfCl6] potassium hexachlororutherfordate(IV)

Gas phase

The tetrahedral structure of the RfCl4 molecule

Early work on the study of the chemistry of rutherfordium focused on gas thermochromatography and measurement of relative deposition temperature adsorption curves. The initial work was carried out at Dubna in an attempt to reaffirm their discovery of the element. Recent work is more reliable regarding the identification of the parent rutherfordium radioisotopes. The isotope 261mRf has been used for these studies,[30] though the long-lived isotope 267Rf (produced in the decay chains of 291Lv, 287Fl, and 283Cn) may be advantageous for future experiments.[31] The experiments relied on the expectation that rutherfordium would begin the new 6d series of elements and should therefore form a volatile tetrachloride due to the tetrahedral nature of the molecule.[30][32][33] Rutherfordium(IV) chloride is more volatile than its lighter homologue hafnium(IV) chloride (HfCl4) because its bonds are more covalent.[2]

A series of experiments confirmed that rutherfordium behaves as a typical member of group 4, forming a tetravalent chloride (RfCl4) and bromide (RfBr4) as well as an oxychloride (RfOCl2). A decreased volatility was observed for RfCl
when potassium chloride is provided as the solid phase instead of gas, highly indicative of the formation of nonvolatile K
mixed salt.[19][30][34]

Aqueous phase

Rutherfordium is expected to have the electron configuration [Rn]5f14 6d2 7s2 and therefore behave as the heavier homologue of hafnium in group 4 of the periodic table. It should therefore readily form a hydrated Rf4+ ion in strong acid solution and should readily form complexes in hydrochloric acid, hydrobromic or hydrofluoric acid solutions.[30]

The most conclusive aqueous chemistry studies of rutherfordium have been performed by the Japanese team at Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute using the isotope 261mRf. Extraction experiments from hydrochloric acid solutions using isotopes of rutherfordium, hafnium, zirconium, as well as the pseudo-group 4 element thorium have proved a non-actinide behavior for rutherfordium. A comparison with its lighter homologues placed rutherfordium firmly in group 4 and indicated the formation of a hexachlororutherfordate complex in chloride solutions, in a manner similar to hafnium and zirconium.[30][35]

+ 6 Cl

Very similar results were observed in hydrofluoric acid solutions. Differences in the extraction curves were interpreted as a weaker affinity for fluoride ion and the formation of the hexafluororutherfordate ion, whereas hafnium and zirconium ions complex seven or eight fluoride ions at the concentrations used:[30]

+ 6 F


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External links


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 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.

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.

Group 4 element

Group 4 is a group of elements in the periodic table.

It contains the elements titanium (Ti), zirconium (Zr), hafnium (Hf) and rutherfordium (Rf). This group lies in the d-block of the periodic table. The group itself has not acquired a trivial name; it belongs to the broader grouping of the transition metals.

The three Group 4 elements that occur naturally are titanium, zirconium and hafnium. The first three members of the group share similar properties; all three are hard refractory metals under standard conditions. However, the fourth element rutherfordium (Rf), has been synthesized in the laboratory; none of its isotopes have been found occurring in nature. All isotopes of rutherfordium are radioactive. So far, no experiments in a supercollider have been conducted to synthesize the next member of the group, unpentoctium (Upo, element 158), and it is unlikely that they will be synthesized in the near future.

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.

Isotopes of rutherfordium

Rutherfordium (104Rf) 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 either 259Rf in 1966 or 257Rf in 1969. There are 16 known radioisotopes from 253Rf to 270Rf (3 of which, 266Rf, 268Rf, and 270Rf are unconfirmed) and 4 isomers. The longest-lived isotope is 267Rf with an estimated half-life of 5 hours. The longest directly measured half-life is 263Rf at 11 minutes, and the longest-lived isomer is 261mRf with a half-life of 81 seconds.

James Andrew Harris

James Andrew Harris (March 26, 1932 – December 12, 2000) was a nuclear chemist who was involved in the discovery of elements 104 and 105 (rutherfordium and dubnium, respectively). Harris is known for being the first African American to contribute to the discovery of new elements.


Lawrencium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Lr (formerly Lw) and atomic number 103. It is named in honor of Ernest Lawrence, inventor of the cyclotron, a device that was used to discover many artificial radioactive elements. A radioactive metal, lawrencium is the eleventh transuranic element and is also the final member of the actinide series. Like all elements with atomic number over 100, lawrencium can only be produced in particle accelerators by bombarding lighter elements with charged particles. Twelve isotopes of lawrencium are currently known; the most stable is 266Lr with a half-life of 11 hours, but the shorter-lived 260Lr (half-life 2.7 minutes) is most commonly used in chemistry because it can be produced on a larger scale.

Chemistry experiments have confirmed that lawrencium behaves as a heavier homolog to lutetium in the periodic table, and is a trivalent element. It thus could also be classified as the first of the 7th-period transition metals: however, its electron configuration is anomalous for its position in the periodic table, having an s2p configuration instead of the s2d configuration of its homolog lutetium. This means that lawrencium may be more volatile than expected for its position in the periodic table and have a volatility comparable to that of lead.

In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, many claims of the synthesis of lawrencium of varying quality were made from laboratories in the Soviet Union and the United States. The priority of the discovery and therefore the naming of the element was disputed between Soviet and American scientists, and while the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) initially established lawrencium as the official name for the element and gave the American team credit for the discovery, this was reevaluated in 1997, giving both teams shared credit for the discovery but not changing the element's name.

List of chemical elements naming controversies

The currently accepted names and symbols of the chemical elements are determined by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), usually following recommendations by the recognized discoverers of each element. However the names of several elements have been the subject of controversies until IUPAC established an official name. In most cases the controversy was due to a priority dispute as to who first found conclusive evidence for the existence of an element, or as to what evidence was in fact conclusive.

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.

Minor actinide

The minor actinides are the actinide elements in used nuclear fuel other than uranium and plutonium, which are termed the major actinides. The minor actinides include neptunium (element 93), americium (element 95), curium (element 96), berkelium (element 97), californium (element 98), einsteinium (element 99), and fermium (element 100). The most important isotopes in spent nuclear fuel are neptunium-237, americium-241, americium-243, curium-242 through -248, and californium-249 through -252.

Plutonium and the minor actinides will be responsible for the bulk of the radiotoxicity and heat generation of used nuclear fuel in the medium term (300 to 20,000 years in the future).The plutonium from a power reactor tends to have a greater amount of Pu-241 than the plutonium generated by the lower burnup operations designed to create weapons-grade plutonium. Because the reactor-grade plutonium contains so much Pu-241 the presence of americium-241 makes the plutonium less suitable for making a nuclear weapon. The ingrowth of americium in plutonium is one of the methods for identifying the origin of an unknown sample of plutonium and the time since it was last separated chemically from the americium.

Americium is commonly used in industry as both an alpha particle and as a low photon energy gamma radiation source. For instance it is used in many smoke detectors. Americium can be formed by neutron capture of Pu-239 and Pu-240 forming Pu-241 which then beta decays to Am-241. In general, as the energy of the neutrons increases, the ratio of the fission cross section to the neutron capture cross section changes in favour of fission. Hence if MOX is used in a thermal reactor such as a boiling water reactor (BWR) or pressurized water reactor (PWR) then more americium can be expected in the used fuel than that from a fast neutron reactor.Some of the minor actinides have been found in fallout from bomb tests. See Actinides in the environment for details.

Molar ionization energies of the elements

These tables list values of molar ionization energies, measured in kJ mol−1. This is the energy per mole necessary to remove electrons from gaseous atoms or atomic ions. The first molar ionization energy applies to the neutral atoms. The second, third, etc., molar ionization energy applies to the further removal of an electron from a singly, doubly, etc., charged ion. For ionization energies measured in the unit eV, see Ionization energies of the elements (data page). All data from rutherfordium onwards is predicted.

Period 7 element

A period 7 element is one of the chemical elements in the seventh row (or period) of the periodic table of the chemical elements. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behaviour of the elements as their atomic number increases: a new row is begun when chemical behaviour begins to repeat, meaning that elements with similar behaviour fall into the same vertical columns. The seventh period contains 32 elements, tied for the most with period 6, beginning with francium and ending with oganesson, the heaviest element currently discovered. As a rule, period 7 elements fill their 7s shells first, then their 5f, 6d, and 7p shells, in that order; however, there are exceptions, such as plutonium.

Pirkko Eskola

Pirkko Eskola is a Finnish physicist. She discovered the chemical elements Rutherfordium and Dubnium whilst working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


Seaborgium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Sg and atomic number 106. It is named after the American nuclear chemist Glenn T. Seaborg. As a synthetic element, it can be created in a laboratory but is not found in nature. It is also radioactive; the most stable known isotope, 269Sg, has a half-life of approximately 14 minutes.In the periodic table of the elements, it is a d-block transactinide element. It is a member of the 7th period and belongs to the group 6 elements as the fourth member of the 6d series of transition metals. Chemistry experiments have confirmed that seaborgium behaves as the heavier homologue to tungsten in group 6. The chemical properties of seaborgium are characterized only partly, but they compare well with the chemistry of the other group 6 elements.

In 1974, a few atoms of seaborgium were produced in laboratories in the Soviet Union and in the United States. The priority of the discovery and therefore the naming of the element was disputed between Soviet and American scientists, and it was not until 1997 that International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) established seaborgium as the official name for the element. It is one of only two elements named after a living person at the time of naming, the other being oganesson, element 118.

Symbol (chemistry)

In relation to the chemical elements, a symbol is a code for a chemical element. Many functional groups have their own chemical symbol, e.g. Ph for the phenyl group, and Me for the methyl group. Chemical symbols for elements normally consist of one or two letters from the Latin alphabet, but can contain three when the element has a systematic temporary name (as of March 2017, no discovered elements have such a name), and are written with the first letter capitalized.

Earlier chemical element symbols stem from classical Latin and Greek vocabulary. For some elements, this is because the material was known in ancient times, while for others, the name is a more recent invention. For example, "He" is the symbol for helium (New Latin name, not known in ancient Roman times), "Pb" for lead (plumbum in Latin), and "Hg" for mercury (hydrargyrum in Greek). Some symbols come from other sources, like "W" for tungsten (Wolfram in German, not known in Roman times).

Temporary symbols assigned to newly or not-yet synthesized elements use 3-letter symbols based on their atomic numbers. For example, "Uno" was the temporary symbol for hassium (element 108) which had the temporary name of unniloctium.

Chemical symbols may be modified by the use of prepended superscripts or subscripts to specify a particular isotope of an atom. Additionally, appended superscripts may be used to indicate the ionization or oxidation state of an element. They are widely used in chemistry and they have been officially chosen by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). There are also some historical symbols that are no longer officially used.

Attached subscripts or superscripts specifying a nuclide or molecule have the following meanings and positions:

The nucleon number (mass number) is shown in the left superscript position (e.g., 14N). This number defines the specific isotope. Various letters, such as "m" and "f" may also be used here to indicate a nuclear isomer (e.g., 99mTc). Alternately, the number here can represent a specific spin state (e.g., 1O2). These details can be omitted if not relevant in a certain context.

The proton number (atomic number) may be indicated in the left subscript position (e.g., 64Gd). The atomic number is redundant to the chemical element, but is sometimes used to emphasize the change of numbers of nucleons in a nuclear reaction.

If necessary, a state of ionization or an excited state may be indicated in the right superscript position (e.g., state of ionization Ca2+).

The number of atoms of an element in a molecule or chemical compound is shown in the right subscript position (e.g., N2 or Fe2O3). If this number is one, it is normally omitted - the number one is then implicit.

A radical is indicated by a dot on the right side (e.g., Cl• for a neutral chlorine atom). This is often omitted unless relevant to a certain context because it is already deducible from the charge and atomic number information values.In Chinese, each chemical element has a dedicated character, usually created for the purpose (see Chemical elements in East Asian languages). However, Latin symbols are also used, especially in formulas.

A list of current, dated, as well as proposed and historical signs and symbols is included here with its signification. Also given is each element's atomic number, atomic weight or the atomic mass of the most stable isotope, group and period numbers on the periodic table, and etymology of the symbol.

Hazard pictographs are another type of symbols used in chemistry.

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.

Transfermium Wars

The names for the chemical elements 104 to 106 were the subject of a major controversy starting in the 1960s, described by some nuclear chemists as the Transfermium Wars because it concerned the elements following fermium (element 100) on the periodic table.

This controversy arose from disputes between American scientists and Soviet scientists as to which had first isolated these elements. The final resolution of this controversy in 1997 also decided the names of elements 107 to 109.

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.

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