Nihonium is a recently discovered element which came into the existence in 2003. Today, 118 elements are known to us. 94 elements out of these are naturally occurring whereas elements from atomic number 95 to 118 are synthetic elements. Synthetic elements are those elements which are artificially made by researchers and scientists. Nihonium is also a synthetic element. This element is extremely radioactive and has a half-life of 10 sec. This means in 10 seconds it reduces to half of its quantity. It is placed in the p-block of the periodic table. Nihonium isotopes are quite unstable and only Nh-286 is found stable.
Symbol of Nihonium- Nh
The atomic number of nh-113
Atomic Mass of nh - 286
Discovery of the Element 113
Nihonium was first invented by Russian American collaboration JINR-JOINT INSTITUTE FOR NUCLEAR RESEARCH in Dubna, Russia in 2003 and then by RIKEN collaboration of Japan in 2004. In 2015, IUPAC-International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, recognized it as an element and gave rights for the discovery and naming to Riken. Thus Riken named element 113 as 'Nihonium' to honor Japan as 'Nihon’ refers to Japan.
Nihonium was synthesized by the bombardment of calcium ions on the element Americium with the atomic number 95 in the cyclotron. This lead to the formation of Moscovium which has an atomic number of 115.
This element of moscovium undergoes an alpha decay process to form nihonium.
A very small amount of the element has been created till now.
Nihonium is also known as the ununtrium. This name of Nihonium comes from the nomenclature rules proposed by IUPAC.
According to these rules, elements that have an atomic number greater than 100 are named using certain codes decided by the IUPAC. By the systematic naming, those metals which are not discovered can also be named as the names are directly derived by the atomic number of the element itself.
Thus Following this Code Nihonium gets its Name as Ununtrium.
ATOMIC No. of Nh= 1 1 3
↓ ↓ ↓
un un tri + um
Properties of Element 113
Most of the properties of niobium are only predicted as it is short-lived. Some of the properties are as follows-
Nihonium is found to be solid at temperature 20°C.
The melting point, boiling point, and density of nihonium are unknown but they are predicted to be greater than its group members.
Nh element belongs to the boron group(13 groups) of periodic table so its properties are assumed to resemble thallium.
It is assumed to be denser than the thallium.
Due to the spin-orbit splitting of 7p shell nihonium is chemically different from thallium and other elements of group 13.
It is present in the 7th period of the periodic table.
The crystal structure of Nihonium is assumed to be hexagonal close packing-hcp.
Nihonium is not found naturally. It is considered to be entirely synthetic.
Its oxidation states are assumed to be +1,-1 +3, and +5.
Nihonium is assumed to have a size greater than thallium following the group trend.
It is considered to be a transactinide element.
Uses of Nihonium
It is used only for scientific research.No other use of Nihonium is known till now.
Effect on Health
As compared to the other elements in the periodic table, until now there is no considerable reason given for stating the harmful effects of Nihonium. It is because they are highly unstable and exhibit a short span of the half-life.
Isotopes of Nihonium
Isotopes are those elements which are considered to have the same atomic number but different atomic mass.
Nihonium also has 6 chemically synthesized isotopes from Nh²⁷⁸ to Nh²⁸⁶. Other than these two more isotopes are unconfirmed Nh²⁸⁷ and Nh²⁹⁰.
Nh²⁸⁶ is the most stable as compared to others to all the other isotopes of Nihonium.
1. Why Nihonium is also Known as Eka-thallium?
Mendeleev was the first scientist to arrange then known elements into a table which is known as Mendeleev periodic table. He arranged all the elements according to their atomic masses. When the final table was made, some spaces in his table were left empty. He then predicted some elements to be discovered in the future and named them with suffix eka-
For eg. eka-boron,eka-aluminium.
Following this nomenclature ununtrium was also named as eka-thallium based on the Mendeleev nomenclature.
2. Why Nihonium is Known as a Transactinide Element?
All the superheavy elements in chemistry are known as transactinide elements. Generally, the elements with an atomic number greater than 103 are super heavy. These elements are placed after the actinides in the periodic table so they are called transactinide elements. Thus, Nihonium with atomic number 113, is also a transactinide element. All these transactinide are radioactive and short-lived. These are created synthetically in labs and do not occur naturally. Other than Nihonium, elements moscovium, tennessine, darmstadtium are also transactinide.