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Ruthenium Facts

Chemical & Physical Properties

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This is a photo of ruthenium. Ruthenium is a hard white metal.

This is a photo of ruthenium. Ruthenium is a hard white metal that does not tarnish at room temperature, but can oxidize explosively. This sample of ruthenium has been etched.

Jurii, Creative Commons License Ruthenium is a very hard, white transition metal belonging to the platinum group.

Ruthenium is a very hard, white transition metal belonging to the platinum group. This is a photo of ruthenium crystals that were grown using the gas phase method.

Jurii, Creative Commons License This is the electron configuration of a ruthenium atom.

This is the electron configuration of a ruthenium atom.

Periodic Table of the Elements

Ruthenium

Symbol: Ru

Atomic Number: 44

Atomic Weight: 101.07

Uses: Ruthenium is one of the best hardeners for addition to palladium or platinum. It is alloyed with these metals to make electrical contacts with extreme wear resistance. One ruthenium-molybdenum alloy is superconductive at 10.6 K. Adding 0.1% ruthenium to titanium improves its corrosion resistance a factor of a hundred. Ruthenium oxides are versatile catalysts.

Sources: Ruthenium occurs with other members of the platium group of metals in the Ural mountains and in North and South America. It is also found in the Sudbury, Ontario nickel-mining region and in the pyroxinite deposits of South Africa. A complex process is used to isolate ruthenium. The final step is hydrogen reduction of ammonium ruthenium chloride to yields a powder that is consolidated by powder metallurgy or argon-arc welding.

Element Classification: Transition Metal

Discovery: Karl Klaus 1844 (Russia)

Density (g/cc): 12.41

Melting Point (K): 2583

Boiling Point (K): 4173

Appearance: silvery-gray, extremely brittle metal

Atomic Radius (pm): 134

Atomic Volume (cc/mol): 8.3

Covalent Radius (pm): 125

Ionic Radius: 67 (+4e)

Specific Heat (@20°C J/g mol): 0.238

Fusion Heat (kJ/mol): (25.5)

Pauling Negativity Number: 2.2

First Ionizing Energy (kJ/mol): 710.3

Oxidation States: 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 0, -2

Electron Configuration: [Kr] 4d7 5s1

Lattice Structure: Hexagonal

Lattice Constant (Å): 2.700

Lattice C/A Ratio: 1.584

 

References: Los Alamos National Laboratory (2001), Crescent Chemical Company (2001), Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (1952), CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics (18th Ed.)

 

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