10 Interesting Facts about Technetium

One of these following facts about technetium might give you much information about this chemical element. Technetium is the chemical element with atomic number 43 and the symbol Tc. It is the lowest atomic number element without any stable isotopes; every form of it is radioactive. Nearly all technetium is produced synthetically, and only minute amounts are found in nature. Naturally occurring technetium occurs as a spontaneous fission product in uranium ore or by neutron capture in molybdenum ores. The chemical properties of this silvery gray, crystalline transition metal area intermediate between rhenium and manganese. To get to know more about this chemical element, here are some other facts about technetium you might be interested in.

Facts about Technetium 1: Official Discovery

The discovery of element 43 was finally confirmed in a December 1936 experiment at the University of Palermo in Sicily conducted by Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segre. Segrè visited the United States, first Columbia University in New York and then the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. He persuaded cyclotron inventor Ernest Lawrence to let him take back some discarded cyclotron parts that had become radioactive.

Facts about Technetium 2: Physical Properties

Technetium is a silvery-gray radioactive metal with an appearance similar to that of platinum. It is commonly obtained as a gray powder. The crystal structure of the pure metal is hexagonal close-packed.

Facts about technetium - Technetium

Facts about technetium – Technetium

Facts about Technetium 3: Chemical Properties

Technetium is placed in the seventh group of the periodic table, between rhenium and manganese. As predicted by the periodic law, its chemical properties are therefore intermediate between those two elements. Of the two, technetium more closely resembles rhenium, particularly in its chemical inertness and tendency to form covalent bonds.

Facts about Technetium 4: Isotopes

Technetium, with atomic number (denoted Z) 43, is the lowest-numbered element in the periodic table that is exclusively radioactive. The second-lightest, exclusively radioactive element, promethium, has an atomic number of 61. Atomic nuclei with an odd number of protons are less stable than those with even numbers, even when the total number of nucleons (protons + neutrons) is even.

Facts about technetium - Uranium ore

Facts about technetium – Uranium ore

Facts about Technetium 5: Occurrence and Production

Only minute traces of technetium occur naturally in the Earth’s crust. This is due to the fact that technetium’s half-life is only 4.2 million years. Over a thousand half-lives have passed since the formation on the Earth, meaning that less than one centiliont of 1% of primordial technetiumshould still exist.

Facts about Technetium 6: Fission Waste Product

In contrast with its rare natural occurrence, bulk quantities of technetium-99 are produced each year from spent nuclear fuel rods, which contain various fission products.

Facts about technetium - Technetium cluster

Facts about technetium – Technetium cluster

Facts about Technetium 7: Neutron Activation

Molybdenum-99 can be formed by the neutron activation of molybdenum-98. Other technetium isotopes are not produced in significant quantities by fission; when needed, they are manufactured by neutron irradiation of parent isotopes. 

Facts about Technetium 8: Particle Accelerators

The feasibility of technetium-99m production with the 22-MeV-proton bombardment of a molybdenum-100 target in medical cyclotrons following the reaction 100Mo(p,2n)99mTc was demonstrated in 1971.

Facts about technetium - Technetium complex

Facts about technetium – Technetium complex

Facts about Technetium 9: Nuclear Medicine and Biology

Technetium-99m (“m” indicates that this is a metastable nuclear isomer) is used in radioactive isotope medical tests, for example as the radioactive part of a radioactive tracer that medical equipment can detect in the human body.

Facts about Technetium 10: Industrial and Chemical

Technetium-99 decays almost entirely by beta decay, emitting beta particles with consistent low energies and no accompanying gamma rays. Moreover, its long half-life means that this emission decreases very slowly with time.

Facts about technetium - Technetium hydrid

Facts about technetium – Technetium hydrid

Hope you would find those technetium facts really interesting and useful for your additional reading.

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