Xenon is a chemical element with symbol Xe and atomic number 54. It is a colorless, dense, odorless noble gas found in the Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts. Although generally unreactive, xenon can undergo a few chemical reactions such as the formation of xenon hexafluoroplatinate, the first noble gas compound to be synthesized.
Xenon is used in flash lamps and arc lamps, and as a general anesthetic. The first excimer laser design used a xenon dimer molecule (Xe2) as the lasing medium, and the earliest laser designs used xenon flash lamps as pumps. Xenon is used to search for hypothetical weakly interacting massive particles and as the propellant for ion thrusters in spacecraft.
Naturally occurring xenon consists of eight stable isotopes. More than 40 unstable xenon isotopes undergo radioactive decay, and the isotope ratios of xenon are an important tool for studying the early history of the Solar System. Radioactive xenon-135 is produced by beta decay from iodine-135 (a product of nuclear fission), and is the most significant (and unwanted) neutron absorber in nuclear reactors.
A xenon-filled discharge tube glowing light blue
|Appearance||colorless gas, exhibiting a blue glow when placed in an electric field|
|Standard atomic weight Ar, std(Xe)||131.293(6)|
|Xenon in the periodic table|
|Atomic number (Z)||54|
|Group||group 18 (noble gases)|
|Element category||noble gas|
|Electron configuration||[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p6|
Electrons per shell
|2, 8, 18, 18, 8|
|Phase at STP||gas|
|Melting point||161.40 K (−111.75 °C, −169.15 °F)|
|Boiling point||165.051 K (−108.099 °C, −162.578 °F)|
|Density (at STP)||5.894 g/L|
|when liquid (at b.p.)||2.942 g/cm3|
|Triple point||161.405 K, 81.77 kPa|
|Critical point||289.733 K, 5.842 MPa|
|Heat of fusion||2.27 kJ/mol|
|Heat of vaporization||12.64 kJ/mol|
|Molar heat capacity||21.01 J/(mol·K)|
|Oxidation states||0, +1, +2, +4, +6, +8 (rarely more than 0; a weakly acidic oxide)|
|Electronegativity||Pauling scale: 2.6|
|Covalent radius||140±9 pm|
|Van der Waals radius||216 pm|
Spectral lines of xenon
|Crystal structure|| face-centered cubic (fcc)|
|Speed of sound||gas: 178 m·s−1|
liquid: 1090 m/s
|Thermal conductivity||5.65×10−3 W/(m·K)|
|Magnetic susceptibility||−43.9·10−6 cm3/mol (298 K)|
|Discovery and first isolation||William Ramsay and Morris Travers (1898)|
|Main isotopes of xenon|
Xenon was discovered in England by the Scottish chemist William Ramsay and English chemist Morris Travers in September 1898, shortly after their discovery of the elements krypton and neon. They found xenon in the residue left over from evaporating components of liquid air. Ramsay suggested the name xenon for this gas from the Greek word ξένον [xenon], neuter singular form of ξένος [xenos], meaning 'foreign(er)', 'strange(r)', or 'guest'. In 1902, Ramsay estimated the proportion of xenon in the Earth's atmosphere to be one part in 20 million.
During the 1930s, American engineer Harold Edgerton began exploring strobe light technology for high speed photography. This led him to the invention of the xenon flash lamp in which light is generated by passing brief electric current through a tube filled with xenon gas. In 1934, Edgerton was able to generate flashes as brief as one microsecond with this method.
In 1939, American physician Albert R. Behnke Jr. began exploring the causes of "drunkenness" in deep-sea divers. He tested the effects of varying the breathing mixtures on his subjects, and discovered that this caused the divers to perceive a change in depth. From his results, he deduced that xenon gas could serve as an anesthetic. Although Russian toxicologist Nikolay V. Lazarev apparently studied xenon anesthesia in 1941, the first published report confirming xenon anesthesia was in 1946 by American medical researcher John H. Lawrence, who experimented on mice. Xenon was first used as a surgical anesthetic in 1951 by American anesthesiologist Stuart C. Cullen, who successfully used it with two patients.
Xenon and the other noble gases were for a long time considered to be completely chemically inert and not able to form compounds. However, while teaching at the University of British Columbia, Neil Bartlett discovered that the gas platinum hexafluoride (PtF6) was a powerful oxidizing agent that could oxidize oxygen gas (O2) to form dioxygenyl hexafluoroplatinate (O+
). Since O2 and xenon have almost the same first ionization potential, Bartlett realized that platinum hexafluoride might also be able to oxidize xenon. On March 23, 1962, he mixed the two gases and produced the first known compound of a noble gas, xenon hexafluoroplatinate. Bartlett thought its composition to be Xe+[PtF6]−, but later work revealed that it was probably a mixture of various xenon-containing salts. Since then, many other xenon compounds have been discovered, in addition to some compounds of the noble gases argon, krypton, and radon, including argon fluorohydride (HArF), krypton difluoride (KrF2), and radon fluoride. By 1971, more than 80 xenon compounds were known.
In November 1989, IBM scientists demonstrated a technology capable of manipulating individual atoms. The program, called IBM in atoms, used a scanning tunneling microscope to arrange 35 individual xenon atoms on a substrate of chilled crystal of nickel to spell out the three letter company initialism. It was the first time atoms had been precisely positioned on a flat surface.
Xenon has atomic number 54; that is, its nucleus contains 54 protons. At standard temperature and pressure, pure xenon gas has a density of 5.761 kg/m3, about 4.5 times the density of the Earth's atmosphere at sea level, 1.217 kg/m3. As a liquid, xenon has a density of up to 3.100 g/mL, with the density maximum occurring at the triple point. Liquid xenon has a high polarizability due to its large atomic volume, and thus is an excellent solvent. It can dissolve hydrocarbons, biological molecules, and even water. Under the same conditions, the density of solid xenon, 3.640 g/cm3, is greater than the average density of granite, 2.75 g/cm3. Under gigapascals of pressure, xenon forms a metallic phase.
Solid xenon changes from face-centered cubic (fcc) to hexagonal close packed (hcp) crystal phase under pressure and begins to turn metallic at about 140 GPa, with no noticeable volume change in the hcp phase. It is completely metallic at 155 GPa. When metallized, xenon appears sky blue because it absorbs red light and transmits other visible frequencies. Such behavior is unusual for a metal and is explained by the relatively small width of the electron bands in that state.
Liquid or solid xenon nanoparticles can be formed at room temperature by implanting Xe+ ions into a solid matrix. Many solids have lattice constants smaller than solid Xe. This results in compression of the implanted Xe to pressures that may be sufficient for its liquefaction or solidification.
Xenon is a member of the zero-valence elements that are called noble or inert gases. It is inert to most common chemical reactions (such as combustion, for example) because the outer valence shell contains eight electrons. This produces a stable, minimum energy configuration in which the outer electrons are tightly bound.
In a gas-filled tube, xenon emits a blue or lavenderish glow when excited by electrical discharge. Xenon emits a band of emission lines that span the visual spectrum, but the most intense lines occur in the region of blue light, producing the coloration.
Xenon is a trace gas in Earth's atmosphere, occurring at 87±1 nL/L (parts per billion), or approximately 1 part per 11.5 million. It is also found as a component of gases emitted from some mineral springs.
Xenon is obtained commercially as a by-product of the separation of air into oxygen and nitrogen. After this separation, generally performed by fractional distillation in a double-column plant, the liquid oxygen produced will contain small quantities of krypton and xenon. By additional fractional distillation, the liquid oxygen may be enriched to contain 0.1–0.2% of a krypton/xenon mixture, which is extracted either by absorption onto silica gel or by distillation. Finally, the krypton/xenon mixture may be separated into krypton and xenon by further distillation. Worldwide production of xenon in 1998 was estimated at 5,000–7,000 m3. Because of its scarcity, xenon is much more expensive than the lighter noble gases—approximate prices for the purchase of small quantities in Europe in 1999 were 10 €/L for xenon, 1 €/L for krypton, and 0.20 €/L for neon, while the much more plentiful argon costs less than a cent per liter.
Within the Solar System, the nucleon fraction of xenon is 1.56 × 10−8, for an abundance of approximately one part in 630 thousand of the total mass. Xenon is relatively rare in the Sun's atmosphere, on Earth, and in asteroids and comets. The abundance of xenon in the atmosphere of planet Jupiter is unusually high, about 2.6 times that of the Sun. This abundance remains unexplained, but may have been caused by an early and rapid buildup of planetesimals—small, subplanetary bodies—before the heating of the presolar disk. (Otherwise, xenon would not have been trapped in the planetesimal ices.) The problem of the low terrestrial xenon may be explained by covalent bonding of xenon to oxygen within quartz, reducing the outgassing of xenon into the atmosphere.
Unlike the lower-mass noble gases, the normal stellar nucleosynthesis process inside a star does not form xenon. Elements more massive than iron-56 consume energy through fusion, and the synthesis of xenon represents no energy gain for a star. Instead, xenon is formed during supernova explosions, in classical nova explosions, by the slow neutron-capture process (s-process) in red giant stars that have exhausted their core hydrogen and entered the asymptotic giant branch, and from radioactive decay, for example by beta decay of extinct iodine-129 and spontaneous fission of thorium, uranium, and plutonium.
Naturally occurring xenon is composed of eight stable isotopes. This is more than any other element except tin, which has ten. The isotopes 124Xe and 134Xe are predicted by theory to undergo double beta decay, but this has never been observed so they are considered stable. In addition, more than 40 unstable isotopes that have been studied. The longest lived of these isotopes is 136Xe, which undergoes double beta decay with a half-life of 2.11 × 1021 yr. 129Xe is produced by beta decay of 129I, which has a half-life of 16 million years. 131mXe, 133Xe, 133mXe, and 135Xe are some of the fission products of 235U and 239Pu, and are used to detect and monitor nuclear explosions.
Nuclei of two of the stable isotopes of xenon, 129Xe and 131Xe, have non-zero intrinsic angular momenta (nuclear spins, suitable for nuclear magnetic resonance). The nuclear spins can be aligned beyond ordinary polarization levels by means of circularly polarized light and rubidium vapor. The resulting spin polarization of xenon nuclei can surpass 50% of its maximum possible value, greatly exceeding the thermal equilibrium value dictated by paramagnetic statistics (typically 0.001% of the maximum value at room temperature, even in the strongest magnets). Such non-equilibrium alignment of spins is a temporary condition, and is called hyperpolarization. The process of hyperpolarizing the xenon is called optical pumping (although the process is different from pumping a laser).
Because a 129Xe nucleus has a spin of 1/2, and therefore a zero electric quadrupole moment, the 129Xe nucleus does not experience any quadrupolar interactions during collisions with other atoms, and the hyperpolarization persists for long periods even after the engendering light and vapor have been removed. Spin polarization of 129Xe can persist from several seconds for xenon atoms dissolved in blood to several hours in the gas phase and several days in deeply frozen solid xenon. In contrast, 131Xe has a nuclear spin value of 3⁄2 and a nonzero quadrupole moment, and has t1 relaxation times in the millisecond and second ranges.
Some radioactive isotopes of xenon (for example, 133Xe and 135Xe) are produced by neutron irradiation of fissionable material within nuclear reactors. 135Xe is of considerable significance in the operation of nuclear fission reactors. 135Xe has a huge cross section for thermal neutrons, 2.6×106 barns, and operates as a neutron absorber or "poison" that can slow or stop the chain reaction after a period of operation. This was discovered in the earliest nuclear reactors built by the American Manhattan Project for plutonium production. However, the designers had made provisions in the design to increase the reactor's reactivity (the number of neutrons per fission that go on to fission other atoms of nuclear fuel). 135Xe reactor poisoning was a major factor in the Chernobyl disaster. A shutdown or decrease of power of a reactor can result in buildup of 135Xe, with reactor operation going into a condition known as the iodine pit.
Because xenon is a tracer for two parent isotopes, xenon isotope ratios in meteorites are a powerful tool for studying the formation of the Solar System. The iodine–xenon method of dating gives the time elapsed between nucleosynthesis and the condensation of a solid object from the solar nebula. In 1960, physicist John H. Reynolds discovered that certain meteorites contained an isotopic anomaly in the form of an overabundance of xenon-129. He inferred that this was a decay product of radioactive iodine-129. This isotope is produced slowly by cosmic ray spallation and nuclear fission, but is produced in quantity only in supernova explosions. Because the half-life of 129I is comparatively short on a cosmological time scale (16 million years), this demonstrated that only a short time had passed between the supernova and the time the meteorites had solidified and trapped the 129I. These two events (supernova and solidification of gas cloud) were inferred to have happened during the early history of the Solar System, because the 129I isotope was likely generated shortly before the Solar System was formed, seeding the solar gas cloud with isotopes from a second source. This supernova source may also have caused collapse of the solar gas cloud.
In a similar way, xenon isotopic ratios such as 129Xe/130Xe and 136Xe/130Xe are a powerful tool for understanding planetary differentiation and early outgassing. For example, the atmosphere of Mars shows a xenon abundance similar to that of Earth (0.08 parts per million) but Mars shows a greater abundance of 129Xe than the Earth or the Sun. Since this isotope is generated by radioactive decay, the result may indicate that Mars lost most of its primordial atmosphere, possibly within the first 100 million years after the planet was formed. In another example, excess 129Xe found in carbon dioxide well gases from New Mexico is believed to be from the decay of mantle-derived gases from soon after Earth's formation.
After Neil Bartlett's discovery in 1962 that xenon can form chemical compounds, a large number of xenon compounds have been discovered and described. Almost all known xenon compounds contain the electronegative atoms fluorine or oxygen. The chemistry of xenon in each oxidation state is analogous to that of the neighboring element iodine in the immediately lower oxidation state.
The solid, crystalline difluoride XeF
2 is formed when a mixture of fluorine and xenon gases is exposed to ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet component of ordinary daylight is sufficient. Long-term heating of XeF
2 at high temperatures under an NiF
2 catalyst yields XeF
6. Pyrolysis of XeF
6 in the presence of NaF yields high-purity XeF
The xenon fluorides behave as both fluoride acceptors and fluoride donors, forming salts that contain such cations as XeF+
3, and anions such as XeF−
7, and XeF2−
8. The green, paramagnetic Xe+
2 is formed by the reduction of XeF
2 by xenon gas.
Whereas the xenon fluorides are well characterized, with the exception of dichloride XeCl2, the other halides are not known. Xenon dichloride, formed by the high-frequency irradiation of a mixture of xenon, fluorine, and silicon or carbon tetrachloride, is reported to be an endothermic, colorless, crystalline compound that decomposes into the elements at 80 °C. However, XeCl
2 may be merely a van der Waals molecule of weakly bound Xe atoms and Cl
2 molecules and not a real compound. Theoretical calculations indicate that the linear molecule XeCl
2 is less stable than the van der Waals complex.
Three oxides of xenon are known: xenon trioxide (XeO
3) and xenon tetroxide (XeO
4), both of which are dangerously explosive and powerful oxidizing agents, and xenon dioxide (XeO2), which was reported in 2011 with a coordination number of four. XeO2 forms when xenon tetrafluoride is poured over ice. Its crystal structure may allow it to replace silicon in silicate minerals. The XeOO+ cation has been identified by infrared spectroscopy in solid argon.
Xenon does not react with oxygen directly; the trioxide is formed by the hydrolysis of XeF
3 is weakly acidic, dissolving in alkali to form unstable xenate salts containing the HXeO−
4 anion. These unstable salts easily disproportionate into xenon gas and perxenate salts, containing the XeO4−
To prevent decomposition, the xenon tetroxide thus formed is quickly cooled to form a pale-yellow solid. It explodes above −35.9 °C into xenon and oxygen gas.
A number of xenon oxyfluorides are known, including XeOF
2, and XeO
2 is formed by reacting OF
2 with xenon gas at low temperatures. It may also be obtained by partial hydrolysis of XeF
4. It disproportionates at −20 °C into XeF
2 and XeO
4 is formed by the partial hydrolysis of XeF
6, or the reaction of XeF
6 with sodium perxenate, Na
6. The latter reaction also produces a small amount of XeO
4 reacts with CsF to form the XeOF−
5 anion, while XeOF3 reacts with the alkali metal fluorides KF, RbF and CsF to form the XeOF−
Recently, there has been an interest in xenon compounds where xenon is directly bonded to a less electronegative element than fluorine or oxygen, particularly carbon. Electron-withdrawing groups, such as groups with fluorine substitution, are necessary to stabilize these compounds. Numerous such compounds have been characterized, including:
An unusual ion containing xenon is the tetraxenonogold(II) cation, AuXe2+
4, which contains Xe–Au bonds. This ion occurs in the compound AuXe
2, and is remarkable in having direct chemical bonds between two notoriously unreactive atoms, xenon and gold, with xenon acting as a transition metal ligand.
In 1995, M. Räsänen and co-workers, scientists at the University of Helsinki in Finland, announced the preparation of xenon dihydride (HXeH), and later xenon hydride-hydroxide (HXeOH), hydroxenoacetylene (HXeCCH), and other Xe-containing molecules. In 2008, Khriachtchev et al. reported the preparation of HXeOXeH by the photolysis of water within a cryogenic xenon matrix. Deuterated molecules, HXeOD and DXeOH, have also been produced.
In addition to compounds where xenon forms a chemical bond, xenon can form clathrates—substances where xenon atoms or pairs are trapped by the crystalline lattice of another compound. One example is xenon hydrate (Xe•5.75 H2O), where xenon atoms occupy vacancies in a lattice of water molecules. This clathrate has a melting point of 24 °C. The deuterated version of this hydrate has also been produced. Another example is xenon hydride (Xe(H2)8), in which xenon pairs (dimers) are trapped inside solid hydrogen. Such clathrate hydrates can occur naturally under conditions of high pressure, such as in Lake Vostok underneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Clathrate formation can be used to fractionally distill xenon, argon and krypton.
Xenon can also form endohedral fullerene compounds, where a xenon atom is trapped inside a fullerene molecule. The xenon atom trapped in the fullerene can be observed by 129Xe nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Through the sensitive chemical shift of the xenon atom to its environment, chemical reactions on the fullerene molecule can be analyzed. These observations are not without caveat, however, because the xenon atom has an electronic influence on the reactivity of the fullerene.
When xenon atoms are in the ground energy state, they repel each other and will not form a bond. When xenon atoms becomes energized, however, they can form an excimer (excited dimer) until the electrons return to the ground state. This entity is formed because the xenon atom tends to complete the outermost electronic shell by adding an electron from a neighboring xenon atom. The typical lifetime of a xenon excimer is 1–5 ns, and the decay releases photons with wavelengths of about 150 and 173 nm. Xenon can also form excimers with other elements, such as the halogens bromine, chlorine, and fluorine.
Although xenon is rare and relatively expensive to extract from the Earth's atmosphere, it has a number of applications.
Xenon is used in light-emitting devices called xenon flash lamps, used in photographic flashes and stroboscopic lamps; to excite the active medium in lasers which then generate coherent light; and, occasionally, in bactericidal lamps. The first solid-state laser, invented in 1960, was pumped by a xenon flash lamp, and lasers used to power inertial confinement fusion are also pumped by xenon flash lamps.
Continuous, short-arc, high pressure xenon arc lamps have a color temperature closely approximating noon sunlight and are used in solar simulators. That is, the chromaticity of these lamps closely approximates a heated black body radiator at the temperature of the Sun. First introduced in the 1940s, these lamps replaced the shorter-lived carbon arc lamps in movie projectors. They are also employed in typical 35mm, IMAX, and digital film projection systems. They are an excellent source of short wavelength ultraviolet radiation and have intense emissions in the near infrared used in some night vision systems. Xenon is used as a starter gas in HID automotive headlights, and high-end "tactical" flashlights.
The individual cells in a plasma display contain a mixture of xenon and neon ionized with electrodes. The interaction of this plasma with the electrodes generates ultraviolet photons, which then excite the phosphor coating on the front of the display.
Xenon is used as a "starter gas" in high pressure sodium lamps. It has the lowest thermal conductivity and lowest ionization potential of all the non-radioactive noble gases. As a noble gas, it does not interfere with the chemical reactions occurring in the operating lamp. The low thermal conductivity minimizes thermal losses in the lamp while in the operating state, and the low ionization potential causes the breakdown voltage of the gas to be relatively low in the cold state, which allows the lamp to be more easily started.
In 1962, a group of researchers at Bell Laboratories discovered laser action in xenon, and later found that the laser gain was improved by adding helium to the lasing medium. The first excimer laser used a xenon dimer (Xe2) energized by a beam of electrons to produce stimulated emission at an ultraviolet wavelength of 176 nm. Xenon chloride and xenon fluoride have also been used in excimer (or, more accurately, exciplex) lasers.
Xenon has been used as a general anesthetic. Although it is expensive, anesthesia machines that can deliver xenon are expected to appear on the European market because advances in recovery and recycling of xenon have made it economically viable.
Xenon interacts with many different receptors and ion channels, and like many theoretically multi-modal inhalation anesthetics, these interactions are likely complementary. Xenon is a high-affinity glycine-site NMDA receptor antagonist. However, xenon is different from certain other NMDA receptor antagonists in that it is not neurotoxic and it inhibits the neurotoxicity of ketamine and nitrous oxide, while actually producing neuroprotective effects. Unlike ketamine and nitrous oxide, xenon does not stimulate a dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens. Like nitrous oxide and cyclopropane, xenon activates the two-pore domain potassium channel TREK-1. A related channel TASK-3 also implicated in the actions of inhalation anesthetics is insensitive to xenon. Xenon inhibits nicotinic acetylcholine α4β2 receptors which contribute to spinally mediated analgesia. Xenon is an effective inhibitor of plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase. Xenon inhibits Ca2+ ATPase by binding to a hydrophobic pore within the enzyme and preventing the enzyme from assuming active conformations.
Xenon has a minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of 72% at age 40, making it 44% more potent than N2O as an anesthetic. Thus, it can be used with oxygen in concentrations that have a lower risk of hypoxia. Unlike nitrous oxide (N2O), xenon is not a greenhouse gas and is viewed as environmentally friendly. Though recycled in modern systems, xenon vented to the atmosphere is only returning to its original source, without environmental impact.
Xenon induces robust cardioprotection and neuroprotection through a variety of mechanisms. Through its influence on Ca2+, K+, KATP\HIF, and NMDA antagonism, xenon is neuroprotective when administered before, during and after ischemic insults. Xenon is a high affinity antagonist at the NMDA receptor glycine site. Xenon is cardioprotective in ischemia-reperfusion conditions by inducing pharmacologic non-ischemic preconditioning. Xenon is cardioprotective by activating PKC-epsilon and downstream p38-MAPK. Xenon mimics neuronal ischemic preconditioning by activating ATP sensitive potassium channels. Xenon allosterically reduces ATP mediated channel activation inhibition independently of the sulfonylurea receptor1 subunit, increasing KATP open-channel time and frequency.
Inhaling a xenon/oxygen mixture activates production of the transcription factor HIF-1-alpha, which may lead to increased production of erythropoietin. The latter hormone is known to increase red blood cell production and athletic performance. Reportedly, doping with xenon inhalation has been used in Russia since 2004 and perhaps earlier. On August 31, 2014, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) added xenon (and argon) to the list of prohibited substances and methods, although no reliable doping tests for these gases have yet been developed. In addition, effects of xenon on erythropoietin production in humans have not been demonstrated, so far.
Gamma emission from the radioisotope 133Xe of xenon can be used to image the heart, lungs, and brain, for example, by means of single photon emission computed tomography. 133Xe has also been used to measure blood flow.
Xenon, particularly hyperpolarized 129Xe, is a useful contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the gas phase, it can image cavities in a porous sample, alveoli in lungs, or the flow of gases within the lungs. Because xenon is soluble both in water and in hydrophobic solvents, it can image various soft living tissues.
Because of the xenon atom's large, flexible outer electron shell, the NMR spectrum changes in response to surrounding conditions and can be used to monitor the surrounding chemical circumstances. For instance, xenon dissolved in water, xenon dissolved in hydrophobic solvent, and xenon associated with certain proteins can be distinguished by NMR.
Hyperpolarized xenon can be used by surface chemists. Normally, it is difficult to characterize surfaces with NMR because signals from a surface are overwhelmed by signals from the atomic nuclei in the bulk of the sample, which are much more numerous than surface nuclei. However, nuclear spins on solid surfaces can be selectively polarized by transferring spin polarization to them from hyperpolarized xenon gas. This makes the surface signals strong enough to measure and distinguish from bulk signals.
In nuclear energy studies, xenon is used in bubble chambers, probes, and in other areas where a high molecular weight and inert chemistry is desirable. A by-product of nuclear weapon testing is the release of radioactive xenon-133 and xenon-135. These isotopes are monitored to ensure compliance with nuclear test ban treaties, and to confirm nuclear tests by states such as North Korea.
Liquid xenon is used in calorimeters to measure gamma rays, and as a detector of hypothetical weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. When a WIMP collides with a xenon nucleus, theory predicts it will impart enough energy to cause ionization and scintillation. Liquid xenon is useful for these experiments because its density makes dark matter interaction more likely and it permits a quiet detector through self-shielding.
Xenon is the preferred propellant for ion propulsion of spacecraft because it has low ionization potential per atomic weight and can be stored as a liquid at near room temperature (under high pressure), yet easily evaporated to feed the engine. Xenon is inert, environmentally friendly, and less corrosive to an ion engine than other fuels such as mercury or caesium. Xenon was first used for satellite ion engines during the 1970s. It was later employed as a propellant for JPL's Deep Space 1 probe, Europe's SMART-1 spacecraft and for the three ion propulsion engines on NASA's Dawn Spacecraft.
Chemically, the perxenate compounds are used as oxidizing agents in analytical chemistry. Xenon difluoride is used as an etchant for silicon, particularly in the production of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil can be produced by reacting xenon difluoride with uracil. Xenon is also used in protein crystallography. Applied at pressures from 0.5 to 5 MPa (5 to 50 atm) to a protein crystal, xenon atoms bind in predominantly hydrophobic cavities, often creating a high-quality, isomorphous, heavy-atom derivative that can be used for solving the phase problem.
Because they are strongly oxidative, many oxygen-xenon compounds are toxic; they are also explosive (highly exothermic), breaking down to elemental xenon and diatomic oxygen (O2) with much stronger chemical bonds than the xenon compounds.
Xenon gas can be safely kept in normal sealed glass or metal containers at standard temperature and pressure. However, it readily dissolves in most plastics and rubber, and will gradually escape from a container sealed with such materials. Xenon is non-toxic, although it does dissolve in blood and belongs to a select group of substances that penetrate the blood–brain barrier, causing mild to full surgical anesthesia when inhaled in high concentrations with oxygen.
The speed of sound in xenon gas (169 m/s) is less than that in air because the average velocity of the heavy xenon atoms is less than that of nitrogen and oxygen molecules in air. Hence, xenon vibrates more slowly in the vocal cords when exhaled and produces lowered voice tones, an effect opposite to the high-toned voice produced in helium. Like helium, xenon does not satisfy the body's need for oxygen, and it is both a simple asphyxiant and an anesthetic more powerful than nitrous oxide; consequently, and because xenon is expensive, many universities have prohibited the voice stunt as a general chemistry demonstration. The gas sulfur hexafluoride is similar to xenon in molecular weight (146 versus 131), less expensive, and though an asphyxiant, not toxic or anesthetic; it is often substituted in these demonstrations.
Dense gases such as xenon and sulfur hexafluoride can be breathed safely when mixed with at least 20% oxygen. Xenon at 80% concentration along with 20% oxygen rapidly produces the unconsciousness of general anesthesia (and has been used for this, as discussed above). Breathing mixes gases of different densities very effectively and rapidly so that heavier gases are purged along with the oxygen, and do not accumulate at the bottom of the lungs. There is, however, a danger associated with any heavy gas in large quantities: it may sit invisibly in a container, and a person who enters an area filled with an odorless, colorless gas may be asphyxiated without warning. Xenon is rarely used in large enough quantities for this to be a concern, though the potential for danger exists any time a tank or container of xenon is kept in an unventilated space.
A flashtube, also called a flashlamp, is an electric arc lamp designed to produce extremely intense, incoherent, full-spectrum white light for very short durations. Flashtubes are made of a length of glass tubing with electrodes at either end and are filled with a gas that, when triggered, ionizes and conducts a high voltage pulse to produce the light. Flashtubes are used mostly for photographic purposes but are also employed in scientific, medical, industrial, and entertainment applications.Headlamp
A headlamp is a lamp attached to the front of a vehicle to light the road ahead. Headlamps are also often called headlights, but in the most precise usage, headlamp is the term for the device itself and headlight is the term for the beam of light produced and distributed by the device.
Headlamp performance has steadily improved throughout the automobile age, spurred by the great disparity between daytime and nighttime traffic fatalities: the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that nearly half of all traffic-related fatalities occur in the dark, despite only 25% of traffic travelling during darkness.Other vehicles, such as trains and aircraft, are required to have headlamps. Bicycle headlamps are often used on bicycles, and are required in some jurisdictions. They can be powered by a battery or a small generator mechanically integrated into the workings of the bicycles.Ion thruster
An ion thruster or ion drive is a form of electric propulsion used for spacecraft propulsion. It creates thrust by accelerating positive ions with electricity. The term refers strictly to gridded electrostatic ion thrusters, and is often incorrectly loosely applied to all electric propulsion systems including electromagnetic plasma thrusters.An ion thruster ionizes a neutral gas by extracting some electrons out of atoms, creating a cloud of positive ions. These thrusters rely mainly on electrostatics as ions are accelerated by the Coulomb force along an electric field. Temporarily stored electrons are finally reinjected by a neutralizer in the cloud of ions after it has passed through the electrostatic grid, so the gas becomes neutral again and can freely disperse in space without any further electrical interaction with the thruster. Electromagnetic thrusters on the contrary use the Lorentz force to accelerate all species (free electrons as well as positive and negative ions) in the same direction whatever their electric charge, and are specifically referred as plasma propulsion engines, where the electric field is not in the direction of the acceleration.Ion thrusters in operational use have an input power need of 1–7 kW, exhaust velocity 20–50 km/s, thrust 25–250 millinewtons and efficiency 65–80% though experimental versions have achieved 100 kW, 5N.The Deep Space 1 spacecraft, powered by an ion thruster, changed velocity by 4.3 km/s while consuming less than 74 kilograms of xenon. The Dawn spacecraft broke the record, with a velocity change of 10 km/s.Applications include control of the orientation and position of orbiting satellites (some satellites have dozens of low-power ion thrusters) and use as a main propulsion engine for low-mass robotic space vehicles (such as Deep Space 1 and Dawn).Ion thrust engines are practical only in the vacuum of space and cannot take vehicles through the atmosphere because ion engines do not work in the presence of ions outside the engine. Additionally, the engine's minuscule thrust cannot overcome any significant air resistance. Spacecraft rely on conventional chemical rockets to initially reach orbit.Isotopes of xenon
Naturally occurring xenon (54Xe) is made of eight stable isotopes and one very long-lived isotope. (124Xe, 126Xe, and 134Xe are predicted to undergo double beta decay, but this has never been observed in these isotopes, so they are considered to be stable.)
Xenon has the second-highest number of stable isotopes. Only tin, with 10 stable isotopes, has more. Beyond these stable forms, 32 unstable isotopes and various isomers have been studied, the longest-lived of which is 136Xe, which undergoes double beta decay with a half-life of 2.165 ± 0.016(stat) ± 0.059(sys) ×1021 years with the next longest lived being 127Xe with a half-life of 36.345 days. All other isotopes have half-lives less than 12 days, most less than 20 hours. The shortest-lived isotope, 108Xe, has a half-life of 58 µs, and is the heaviest known nuclide with equal numbers of protons and neutrons. Of known isomers, the longest-lived is 131mXe with a half-life of 11.934 days. 129Xe is produced by beta decay of 129I (half-life: 16 million years); 131mXe, 133Xe, 133mXe, and 135Xe are some of the fission products of both 235U and 239Pu, so are used as indicators of nuclear explosions.
The artificial isotope 135Xe is of considerable significance in the operation of nuclear fission reactors. 135Xe has a huge cross section for thermal neutrons, 2.65×106 barns, so it acts as a neutron absorber or "poison" that can slow or stop the chain reaction after a period of operation. This was discovered in the earliest nuclear reactors built by the American Manhattan Project for plutonium production. The designers had made provisions in the design to increase the reactor's reactivity (the number of neutrons per fission that go on to fission other atoms of nuclear fuel).
Relatively high concentrations of radioactive xenon isotopes are also found emanating from nuclear reactors due to the release of this fission gas from cracked fuel rods or fissioning of uranium in cooling water. The concentrations of these isotopes are still usually low compared to the naturally occurring radioactive noble gas 222Rn.
Because xenon is a tracer for two parent isotopes, Xe isotope ratios in meteorites are a powerful tool for studying the formation of the solar system. The I-Xe method of dating gives the time elapsed between nucleosynthesis and the condensation of a solid object from the solar nebula (xenon being a gas, only that part of it that formed after condensation will be present inside the object). Xenon isotopes are also a powerful tool for understanding terrestrial differentiation. Excess 129Xe found in carbon dioxide well gases from New Mexico was believed to be from the decay of mantle-derived gases soon after Earth's formation.LG Xenon (GR500)
The LG GR500 (LG Xenon) is a mobile phone manufactured by LG Electronics, which features a touch screen and QWERTY keyboard on AT&T's 3G network. It offers a flash for the 2.0 mega pixel camera, GPS, multi tasking, a menu or favorite contacts, and a microSD slot for music, pictures, and video. Voice dialing and video share are among the features on this phone. Newer models of the phone also include a front-facing camera for video chat, that is incapable of recording video or pictures. The LG Xenon does not have Wi-Fi capability.Noble gas
The noble gases (historically also the inert gases; sometimes referred to as aerogens) make up a group of chemical elements with similar properties; under standard conditions, they are all odorless, colorless, monatomic gases with very low chemical reactivity. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn). These elements are all nonmetals. Oganesson (Og) is variously predicted to be a noble gas as well or to break the trend due to relativistic effects; its chemistry has not yet been investigated.
For the first six periods of the periodic table, the noble gases are exactly the members of group 18. Noble gases are typically highly unreactive except when under particular extreme conditions. The inertness of noble gases makes them very suitable in applications where reactions are not wanted. For example, argon is used in incandescent lamps to prevent the hot tungsten filament from oxidizing; also, helium is used in breathing gas by deep-sea divers to prevent oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) toxicity.
The properties of the noble gases can be well explained by modern theories of atomic structure: their outer shell of valence electrons is considered to be "full", giving them little tendency to participate in chemical reactions, and it has been possible to prepare only a few hundred noble gas compounds. The melting and boiling points for a given noble gas are close together, differing by less than 10 °C (18 °F); that is, they are liquids over only a small temperature range.
Neon, argon, krypton, and xenon are obtained from air in an air separation unit using the methods of liquefaction of gases and fractional distillation. Helium is sourced from natural gas fields that have high concentrations of helium in the natural gas, using cryogenic gas separation techniques, and radon is usually isolated from the radioactive decay of dissolved radium, thorium, or uranium compounds. Noble gases have several important applications in industries such as lighting, welding, and space exploration. A helium-oxygen breathing gas is often used by deep-sea divers at depths of seawater over 55 m (180 ft) to keep the diver from experiencing oxygen toxemia, the lethal effect of high-pressure oxygen, nitrogen narcosis, the distracting narcotic effect of the nitrogen in air beyond this partial-pressure threshold, and carbon dioxide poisoning (hypercapnia), the panic-inducing effect of excessive carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. After the risks caused by the flammability of hydrogen became apparent, it was replaced with helium in blimps and balloons.Noble gas compound
Noble gas compounds are chemical compounds that include an element from the noble gases, group 18 of the periodic table. Although the noble gases are generally unreactive elements, many such compounds have been observed, particularly involving the element xenon. From the standpoint of chemistry, the noble gases may be divided into two groups: the relatively reactive krypton (ionisation energy 14.0 eV), xenon (12.1 eV), and radon (10.7 eV) on one side, and the very unreactive argon (15.8 eV), neon (21.6 eV), and helium (24.6 eV) on the other. Consistent with this classification, Kr, Xe, and Rn form compounds that can be isolated in bulk at or near standard temperature and pressure (at least in principle for the highly radioactive radon), whereas He, Ne, Ar have been observed to form true chemical bonds using spectroscopic techniques, but only when frozen into a noble gas matrix at temperatures of 40 K or lower, in supersonic jets of noble gas, or under extremely high pressures with metals.
The heavier noble gases have more electron shells than the lighter ones. Hence, the outermost electrons are subject to a shielding effect from the inner electrons that makes them more easily ionized, since they are less strongly attracted to the positively charged nucleus. This results in an ionization energy low enough to form stable compounds with the most electronegative elements, fluorine and oxygen, and even with less electronegative elements such as nitrogen and carbon under certain circumstances.PandaX
The Particle and Astrophysical Xenon Detector, or PandaX, is a dark matter detection experiment at China Jinping Underground Laboratory (CJPL) in Sichuan, China. The experiment occupies the deepest underground laboratory in the world, and is among the largest of its kind.Period 5 element
A period 5 element is one of the chemical elements in the fifth row (or period) of the periodic table of the 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 fifth period contains 18 elements, beginning with rubidium and ending with xenon. As a rule, period 5 elements fill their 5s shells first, then their 4d, and 5p shells, in that order; however, there are exceptions, such as rhodium.Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is a home video game console developed by Microsoft. As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the second console in the Xbox series. It competed with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information announced later that month at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
The Xbox 360 features an online service, Xbox Live, which was expanded from its previous iteration on the original Xbox and received regular updates during the console's lifetime. Available in free and subscription-based varieties, Xbox Live allows users to: play games online; download games (through Xbox Live Arcade) and game demos; purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video portals; and access third-party content services through media streaming applications. In addition to online multimedia features, it allows users to stream media from local PCs. Several peripherals have been released, including wireless controllers, expanded hard drive storage, and the Kinect motion sensing camera. The release of these additional services and peripherals helped the Xbox brand grow from gaming-only to encompassing all multimedia, turning it into a hub for living-room computing entertainment.Launched worldwide across 2005–2006, the Xbox 360 was initially in short supply in many regions, including North America and Europe. The earliest versions of the console suffered from a high failure rate, indicated by the so-called "Red Ring of Death", necessitating an extension of the device's warranty period. Microsoft released two redesigned models of the console: the Xbox 360 S in 2010, and the Xbox 360 E in 2013. As of June 2014, 84 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide, making it the seventh-highest-selling video game console in history, and the highest-selling console made by an American company. Although not the best-selling console of its generation, the Xbox 360 was deemed by TechRadar to be the most influential through its emphasis on digital media distribution and multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live.The Xbox 360's successor, the Xbox One, was released on November 22, 2013. On April 20, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would end the production of new Xbox 360 hardware, although the company will continue to support the platform.Xenon (processor)
Microsoft XCPU, codenamed Xenon, is a CPU used in the Xbox 360 game console, to be used with ATI's Xenos graphics chip.
The processor was developed by Microsoft and IBM under the IBM chip program codenamed "Waternoose", which was named after Henry J. Waternoose III in Monsters, Inc.. The development program was originally announced on 2003-11-03.The processor is based on IBM PowerPC instruction set architecture. It consists of three independent processor cores on a single die. These cores are slightly modified versions of the PPE in the Cell processor used on the PlayStation 3. Each core has two symmetric hardware threads (SMT), for a total of six hardware threads available to games. Each individual core also includes 32 KiB of L1 instruction cache and 32 KiB of L1 data cache.
The XCPU processors are manufactured at IBM's East Fishkill, New York fabrication plant and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing (now part of GlobalFoundries) in Singapore. Chartered reduced the fabrication process in 2007 to 65 nm from 90 nm, thus reducing manufacturing costs for Microsoft.Xenon arc lamp
A xenon arc lamp is a highly specialized type of gas discharge lamp, an electric light that produces light by passing electricity through ionized xenon gas at high pressure. It produces a bright white light that closely mimics natural sunlight, which extends its applications into the film, and daylight simulation industries. Xenon arc lamps are used in movie projectors in theaters, in searchlights, and for, as mentioned previously, specialized uses in industry and research to simulate sunlight, often for product testing.
Xenon headlamps in automobiles are actually metal-halide lamps, where a xenon arc is only used during start-up to correct the color temperature.Xenon difluoride
Xenon difluoride is a powerful fluorinating agent with the chemical formula XeF2, and one of the most stable xenon compounds. Like most covalent inorganic fluorides it is moisture-sensitive. It decomposes on contact with light or water vapor but is otherwise stable to storage. Xenon difluoride is a dense, white crystalline solid.
It has a nauseating odour and low vapor pressure.Xenon hexafluoride
Xenon hexafluoride is a noble gas compound with the formula XeF6 and the highest of the three known binary fluorides of xenon, the other two being XeF2 and XeF4. All known are exergonic and stable at normal temperatures. XeF6 is the strongest fluorinating agent of the series. At room temperature, it is a colorless solid that readily sublimes into intensely yellow vapors.Xenon hexafluoroplatinate
Xenon hexafluoroplatinate is the product of the reaction of platinum hexafluoride and xenon, in an experiment that proved the chemical reactivity of the noble gases. This experiment was performed by Neil Bartlett at the University of British Columbia, who formulated the product as "Xe+[PtF6]−", although subsequent work suggests that Bartlett's product was probably a salt mixture and did not in fact contain this specific salt.Xenon tetrafluoride
Xenon tetrafluoride is a chemical compound with chemical formula XeF4. It was the first discovered binary compound of a noble gas. It is produced by the chemical reaction of xenon with fluorine, F2, according to the chemical equation:
Xe + 2 F2 → XeF4This reaction is exothermic, releasing an energy of 251 kJ/mol of xenon.Xenon tetrafluoride is a colorless crystalline substance under ordinary conditions. Its crystalline structure was determined by both NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography in 1963. The structure is square planar, as has been confirmed by neutron diffraction studies, and is justified by VSEPR theory because xenon has two lone pairs of electrons: one above and one below the plane of the molecule.
Xenon tetrafluoride sublimes at a temperature of 115.7 °C (240.26 °F).
The formation of xenon tetrafluoride, like the other xenon fluorides, is exergonic. They are stable at normal temperatures and pressures. All of them readily react with water, releasing pure xenon gas, hydrogen fluoride, and molecular oxygen. This reaction occurs in slightly moist air; hence, all xenon fluorides must be kept in anhydrous atmospheres.Xenon tetroxide
Xenon tetroxide is a chemical compound of xenon and oxygen with molecular formula XeO4, remarkable for being a relatively stable compound of a noble gas. It is a yellow crystalline solid that is stable below −35.9 °C; above that temperature it is very prone to exploding and decomposing into elemental xenon and oxygen (O2).All eight valence electrons of xenon are involved in the bonds with the oxygen, and the oxidation state of the xenon atom is +8. Oxygen is the only element that can bring xenon up to its highest oxidation state; even fluorine can only give XeF6 (+6).
Two other short-lived xenon compounds with an oxidation state of +8, XeO3F2 and XeO2F4, are accessible by the reaction of xenon tetroxide with xenon hexafluoride. XeO3F2 and XeO2F4 can be detected with mass spectrometry. The perxenates are also compounds where xenon has the +8 oxidation state.Xenon trioxide
Xenon trioxide is an unstable compound of xenon in its +6 oxidation state. It is a very powerful oxidizing agent, and liberates oxygen from water slowly, accelerated by exposure to sunlight. It is dangerously explosive upon contact with organic materials. When it detonates, it releases xenon and oxygen gas.