Chemistry Nexus

by WebElements: the periodic table on the web

Working with element 112 is not easy – it does not occur in the wild and only a few atoms at a time can be made. In this new paper1 a large group of Swiss, Russian, and Polish authors report:

“a more reliable chemical characterization of element 112, involving the production of two atoms of 283112 through the alpha decay of the short-lived 287114 (which itself forms in the nuclear fusion reaction of 48Ca with 242Pu) and the adsorption of the two atoms on a gold surface. By directly comparing the adsorption characteristics of 283112 to that of mercury and the noble gas radon, we find that element 112 is very volatile and, unlike radon, reveals a metallic interaction with the gold surface. These adsorption characteristics establish element 112 as a typical element of group 12, and its successful production unambiguously establishes the approach to the island of stability of superheavy elements through 48Ca-induced nuclear fusion reactions with actinides.”

Partial Abstract.1

Here we report a more reliable chemical characterization of element 112, involving the production of two atoms of 283112 through the alpha decay of the short-lived 287114 (which itself forms in the nuclear fusion reaction12 of 48Ca with 242Pu) and the adsorption of the two atoms on a gold surface. By directly comparing the adsorption characteristics of 283112 to that of mercury and the noble gas radon, we find that element 112 is very volatile and, unlike radon, reveals a metallic interaction with the gold surface. These adsorption characteristics establish element 112 as a typical element of group 12, and its successful production unambiguously establishes the approach to the island of stability of superheavy elements through 48Ca-induced nuclear fusion reactions with actinides.

References

1. Eichler, R., N. V. Aksenov, A. V. Belozerov, G. A. Bozhikov, V. I. Chepigin, S. N. Dmitriev, R. Dressler, et al., “Chemical characterization of element 112”, Nature. 2007, 447, 72-75. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature05761.

April 2nd, 2007

Posted In: Chemistry, Radioactive elements

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