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Name, Symbol, NumberRhodium, Rh, 45
Chemical series Transition metals
Group, Period, Block9[?], 5 , d
Density, Hardness 12450 kg/m3, 6
Appearance Silvery white metallic
Atomic Properties
Atomic weight 102.90550 amu
Atomic radius (calc.) 135 (173) pm
Covalent radius 135 pm
van der Waals radius no data
Electron configuration [Kr]4d8 5s1
e- 's per energy level2, 8, 18, 16, 1
Oxidation states (Oxide) 2, 3, 4 (amphoteric)
Crystal structure Face centered cubic
Physical Properties
State of matter Solid (__)
Melting point 2237 K (3567 °F)
Boiling point 3968 K (6683 °F)
Molar volume 8.28 ×10-3 m3/mol
Heat of vaporization 493 kJ/mol
Heat of fusion 21.5 kJ/mol
Vapor pressure 0.633 Pa at 2239 K
Speed of sound 4700 m/s at 293.15 K
Electronegativity 2.28 (Pauling scale)
Specific heat capacity 0.242 J/(kg*K)
Electrical conductivity 21.1 106/m ohm
Thermal conductivity 150 W/(m*K)
1st ionization potential 719.7 kJ/mol
2nd ionization potential 1740 kJ/mol
3rd ionization potential 2997 kJ/mol
Most Stable Isotopes
isoNAhalf-life DMDE MeVDP
101Rh{syn.}3.3 y ε0.542101Ru
102Rhm{syn.}~2.9 yε
103Rh100%Rh is stable with 58 neutrons
SI units & STP are used except where noted.
Rhodium is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Rh and atomic number 45. A rare silvery-white hard transition metal, rhodium is a member of the platinum group[?], is found in platinum ores and is used in alloys with platinum and as a catalyst.

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Notable Characteristics Rhodium is a hard silvery white and durable metal that has a high reflectance. It changes in air to the resquioxide[?] while slowly cooling from a red hot state but at higher temperatures converts back to the metal. Rhodium has both a higher melting point and lower density than platinum. It is not attacked by acids and only dissolves in aqua regia. Applications The primary use of this element is as an alloying agent for hardening platinum and palladium. These alloys are used in furnace windings, bushings for glass fiber production, thermocouple elements, electrodes for aircraft spark plugs, and laboratory crucibles. Other uses;

  • It is used as an electrical contact material due to its low electrical resistance, low and stable contact resistance, and its high corrosion resistance.
  • Plated rhodium, made by electroplating or evaporation, is extremely hard and is used for optical instruments.
  • This metal finds use in jewelry and for decorations.
  • It is also a highly useful catalyst in a number of industrial processes (notably it is used in the catalytic system of automobile catalytic converters[?]).
History Rhodium (Greek rhodon meaning "rose") was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston soon after his discovery of palladium. Wollaston made this discovery in England using crude platinum ore that he presumably obtained from South America.

His procedure involved dissolving the ore in aqua regia, neutralizing the acid with sodium hydroxide (NaOH). He then precipitated the platinum metal by adding ammonium chloride[?], NH4Cl, as ammonium chloroplatinate[?]. The element palladium was removed as palladium cyanide[?] after treating the solution with mercuric cyanide[?]. The material that remained was a red substance with rhodium chloride[?] salts and rhodium metal was isolated via reduction with hydrogen gas. Occurrence The industrial extraction of rhodium is complex as the metal occurs in ores mixed with other metals such as palladium, silver, [[platinum], and gold. It is found in in platinum ores and obtained free as a white inert metal which it is very difficult to fuse. Principal sources of this element are located in river sands of the Ural Mountains, in North and South America and also in the copper-nickel sulfide[?] mining area of the Sudbury, Ontario region. Although the quantity at Sudbury is very small, the large amount of nickel ore processed makes rhodium recovery cost effective. However, the annual world production of this element is only 7 or 8 tons and there are very few rhodium minerals. Isotopes Naturally occurring rhodium is composed of only one isotope (Rh-103). The most stable radioisotopes are Rh-101 with a half-life of 3.3 years, Rh-102 with a half-life of 207 days, and Rh-99 with a half-life of 16.1 days. Twenty other radioisotopes have been characterized with atomic weights ranging from 92.926 amu (Rh-93) to 116.925 amu (Rh-117). Most of these have half-lifes that are less than an hour except Rh-100 (half-life: 20.8 hours) and Rh-105 (half-life: 35.36 hours). There are also numerous meta states with the most stable being Rhm-102 (0.141 MeV) with a half-life of about 2.9 years and Rhm-101 (0.157 MeV) with a half-life of 4.34 days.

The primary decay mode before the only stable isotope, Rh-103, is electron capture and the primary mode after is beta emission. The primary decay product before Rh-103 is ruthenium and the primary product after is palladium. Precautions Compounds that contain rhodium are not encountered by most people often and should be considered to by highly toxic and carcinogenic. Rhodium compounds can stain human skin very strongly. This element plays no biological role in humans.

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