Nihonium is a synthetic element that was discovered in 2003. It is highly radioactive and unstable element.
History and Discovery
According to the Mendeleev’s nomenclature of undiscovered elements, nihonium was named as eka-thallium or element-113. Nihonium was synthesized by collaboration of an American-Russian team led by Yuri Oganessia working in Dubna, Russia in 2003 . The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) worked with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and successfully created the element 113. They found that a new element was produced during the alpha particle decay of element 115 (nihonium). It was also created in 2004, by a team of Japanese scientist working at Riken in Wako, Japan. They bombarded zinc-70 on bismuth-209 target and produced one atom of nihonium-278. The name nihonium was suggested by Riken team in honor of Japan as nihon is the common Japanese word for Japan, in 2016. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry confirmed the name nihonium for the newly discovered element 113 . The symbol of nihonium is Nh.
|Periodic Table Classification||Group 13
|State at 20C||Solid (predicted)
|Electron Configuration||Rn] 5f14 6d10 7s2 7p1|
|Electron Shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 18, 3 (predicted)
|Density||16.00 g.cm-3 at 20°C (predicted)|
|Atomic Mass||286.00 g.mol -1 (most stable isotope)|
|Electronegativity according to Pauling||n/a|
Nihonium is an artificial element and does not exist in nature. And only minute amount of nihonium have been produced till now as it decays and disappears within seconds.
Nihonium is predicted to be a solid under normal conditions. The unstable nature of nihonium makes it difficult to carry out a statistically significant analysis of its physical and chemical characteristics. However, the expected density of nihonium is around 16 g/cm3, which is greater than thallium. Similarly, the melting and boiling points of nihonium is greater than other members of the group (follows the periodic trend) and have been predicted to be 430°C and 1130°C. It is stable at room temperature and not a highly volatile metal.
The chemical characteristics of nihonium have not been well studied yet. Nihonium is a transactinide and is the first member of p-series and the heaviest of the 13th group of the periodic table. It is present below aluminum, boron, gallium, indium and thallium. Nihonium is predicted to chemically different from thallium and other members of the group 13, due to the spin-orbit splitting of 7p shell. The most common oxidation states of nihonium that have been predicted are +1, -1, +3 and +5.
Significance and Uses
- Nihonium is used for research purposes.
Nihonium is a radioactive element and requires special precautions with handling and storage.
Isotopes of Nihonium
There are four main isotopes of nihonium, with mass number ranging from 278, 282-287 and 290. They are unstable and unnatural. The heavier isotopes are more stable as compared to lighter ones. Nihonium-286 has a half-life of around 8 seconds, while nihonium-285 has an expected half-life of around one second. Most of the isotopes of nihonium decay through emission of alpha particles into isotopes of roentgenium . And recent evidence suggests that nihonium-284 decay through capture of electron and produce copernicium-284 .
. Yu. Ts. Oganessian et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 2010, 104, 142502, 4 pages.
. Sonzogni, Alejandro. “Interactive Chart of Nuclides”. National Nuclear Data Center: Brookhaven National Laboratory. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
. Forsberg, Ulrika (September 2016). “Recoil-α-fission and recoil-α–α-fission events observed in the reaction 48Ca + 243Am” (PDF). Nuclear Physics A. 953: 117–138. doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2016.04.025.