Xenon: the essentials
Xenon is a "noble" or "inert" gas present in the atmosphere to a small extent. Xenon is present in the Martian atmosphere to the extent of about 0.08 ppm. Before 1962, it was generally assumed that xenon and other noble gases were unable to form compounds. Among the compounds of xenon now reported are xenon hydrate, sodium perxenate, xenon deuterate, difluoride, tetrafluoride, hexafluoride, and XePtF6 and XeRhF6. The highly explosive xenon trioxide, XeO3, is known.
Metallic xenon is produced by applying several hundred kilobars of pressure. Xenon in a vacuum tube produces a blue glow when excited by an electrical discharge and finds use in strobe lamps. It is an odourless, colourless, inert gas.
Image adapted with permission from Prof James Marshall's (U. North Texas, USA) Walking Tour of the elements CD.
Xenon: historical information
Xenon was discovered by Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers in 1898 in the residue left after evaporating liquid air components. Krypton and neon had been discovered by the same methods by the same workers only weeks earlier. They had to work with huge volumes of air to produce just a little xenon since it turned out that xenon is only present to the extent of about 0.087 ppm in the atmosphere.
Xenon around us Read more »
Xenon has no biological role.
Xenon is a "noble" or "inert" gas present in the atmosphere to a small extent. Xenon is present in the Martian atmosphere to the extent of about 0.08 ppm.
|Location||ppb by weight||ppb by atoms||Links|
|Human||(no data) ppb by weight||(no data) atoms relative to C = 1000000|
Physical properties Read more »
Heat properties Read more »
- Melting point: 161.4 [‑111.7 °C (‑169.1 °F)] K
- Boiling point: 165.1 [‑108 °C (‑162 °F)] K
- Enthalpy of fusion: 2.30 kJ mol-1
Crystal structure Read more »
The solid state structure of xenon is: ccp (cubic close-packed).
Xenon: orbital properties Read more »
Xenon atoms have 54 electrons and the shell structure is 18.104.22.168.8. The ground state electronic configuration of neutral Xenon is [Kr].4d10.5s2.5p6 and the term symbol of Xenon is 1S0.
- Pauling electronegativity: 2.6 (Pauling units)
- First ionisation energy: 1170.4 kJ mol‑1
- Second ionisation energy: 2046.4 kJ mol‑1
Isolation: xenon is present to a small extent in the atmosphere (less than 1 ppm by volume) and is obtained as a byproduct from the liquefaction and separation of air. This would not normally be carried out in the laboratory and xenon is available commercially in cylinders at high pressure.
Xenon isotopes Read more »
Of the nine stable Xenon isotopes, several are used in various medical and scientific applications. Xe-124 is used in the production of two radioisotopes: I-123 and I-125. I-123 is used extensively in diagnostic procedures while I-125 is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Hyperpolarized Xe-129 is used in the magnetic resonance imaging of gas flows in the lungs. Xe-136 has been proposed as a detector for neutrinoless double Beta decay research. Xe-126 can be used as a target for the production of radioactive Ba-128.
|124Xe||123.9058942 (22)||0.09 (1)||0|
|126Xe||125.904281 (8)||0.09 (1)||0|
|128Xe||127.9035312 (17)||1.92 (3)||0|
|129Xe||128.9047801 (21)||26.44 (24)||1/2||-0.777977|
|130Xe||129.9035094 (17)||4.08 (2)||0|
|131Xe||130.905072 (5)||21.18 (3)||3/2||0.691861|
|132Xe||131.904144 (5)||26.89 (6)||0|
|134Xe||133.905395 (8)||10.44 (10)||0|
|136Xe||135.907214 (8)||8.87 (16)||0|