Skip to Main Content

About Sodium

Sodium Bohr

Similar to the other members of the alkali metal family, sodium is a silvery-white conductive metal that is soft enough to be cut with a knife. Though less reactive than potassium, sodium metal rapidly oxidizes in contact with air and will ignite, releasing pure hydrogen and caustic sodium hydroxide, upon contact with water. Its low density allows the metal to float on water, a property that only potassium and lithium share. Sodium is the most commercially important alkali metal and the 6th most abundant element on earth; it has one stable isotope (23Na) and is present in underground salt mines, seawater, and numerous minerals such as cryolite, feldspars, sodalite, halite, natron, and zeolites. Metallic sodium is typically produced via electrolysis of a molten mixture of sodium chloride and calcium chloride in an electrochemical apparatus known as a Down’s cell.

Sir Humphry Davy first isolated the element in 1807 via electrolysis of sodium hydroxide, the same method that he had used several months earlier to isolate potassium for the first time. The element’s name comes from the common name for sodium carbonate, “soda,” from the Arabic suda or Latin sodanum, all meaning “headache;” as the headache-relieving properties of the compound had long been known. The Latin term for the compound, natrium, served as the basis for the sodium’s elemental symbol of Na.

Sodium has a vast range of applications and uses in the industrial, biomedical, and chemical fields. Metallic sodium is used primarily in chemical reactions to product organic esters and compounds such as sodium azide, indigo, and triphenylphosphine. It is often used in nuclear reactors because of its low boiling point. The vibrant yellow-orange flame caused by burning sodium gives street lamps their distinct color. Its compounds are highly soluble and often used in soaps, glass products, papers, and textiles; sodium chloride is a common de-icing agent, as well as what is commonly known as table salt. The element is biologically important to the function of most systems in the human body, and is common in food additives and pharmaceuticals.

Sodium can be used to improve the structural properties of certain alloys such as aluminum silicon and tin nickel copper; sodium potassium alloy (NaK) is particularly effective as a heat transfer medium and a dessicant, and a sodium, potassium, and cesium alloy (Na 12%/K 47%/Cs 41%) has the lowest melting point of any known alloy. Other uses for sodium have emerged in the fields of high technology electronics and optics: sodium yttrium fluoride (NaYF) is a luminescent phosphor nanocrystal for LEDs, sodium bismuthate has been studied as an analog to 3D graphene, and sodium-air batteries are a promising next-generation green storage medium with the potential to be a viable alternative to the current prevailing lithium-ion battery technology.

+ Open All
- Close All
Compounds
Organometallics
Sputtering Targets

High Purity Sodium ChlorideSummary. Sodium is primarily used in its metallic form in the production of chemical esters and in the manufacturing of various other organic .High Purity (99.999%) sodium Oxide (NaO<sub>2</sub>)Powder compounds. The metal is used in the alloy of tin, nickel and copper for its structural characteristics. Sodium compounds are also used in low tech applications throughout industry. Elemental or metallic forms of sodium include cubes, ingots, lumps, and sticks for evaporation source material purposes. Sodium oxides is available in powder and dense pellet forms for such uses as optical coating and thin film applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Sodium fluorides is another insoluble form for uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Sodium is available in soluble forms including chlorides, nitrates and acetates. These compounds are also manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Sodium Properties

Sodium Bohr Model
Sodium is a Block D, Group 5, Period 4 element. The number of electrons in each of Sodium's shells is 2, 8, 1 and its electron configuration is [Ne] 3s1. The sodium atom has a radius of 185.8.pm and it's Van der Waals radius is 227.pm. In its elemental form, CAS 7440-23-5, sodium has a silvery white metallic appearance. Sodium was first discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1807. It is the sixth most abundant element making up 2.6 % of the earth's crust. Sodium does not occur in nature and must be extracted from its compounds. The name sodium comes from the Latin word "natrium" which means sodium carbonate. Sodium information, including technical data, safety data, high purity properties, research, applications and other useful facts are discussed below. Scientific facts such as the atomic structure, ionization energy, abundance on earth, conductivity and thermal properties are also included.

Symbol: Na
Atomic Number: 11
Atomic Weight: 22.98977
Element Category: alkali metal
Group, Period, Block: 1 (alkali metals), 3, s
Color: silvery white
Other Names: N/A
Melting Point: 97.794°C, 208.029°F, 370.944 K
Boiling Point: 882.94°C, 1621.292°F, 1156.09 K
Density: 0.968 g·cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 0.927 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 0.971 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 968 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.3 kcal/kg °C
Superconductivity Temperature: N/A
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: (extrapolated)
2573 K, 35 Mpa
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 2.64
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 99.2
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 107.566
Thermal Conductivity: 142 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: (25 °C) 71 µm·m-1·K-1
Electrical Resistivity: (20 °C) 47.7 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 28.230 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: 10 GPa
Shear Modulus: 3.3 GPa
Bulk Modulus: 6.3 GPa
Poisson Ratio: N/A
Mohs Hardness: 0.5
Vickers Hardness: N/A
Brinell Hardness: 0.69 MPa
Speed of Sound: (20 °C) 3200 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: 0.93
Sanderson Electronegativity: 0.56
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.01
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: 0.91 (s orbital)
Allen Electronegativity: 0.869
Pauling Electropositivity: 3.07
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 11
Protons: 11
Neutrons: 12
Electron Configuration: [Ne] 3s1
Atomic Radius: 186 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
2.27
Covalent Radius: 166±9 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.6
Van der Waals Radius: 227 pm
Oxidation States: +1, -1 (strongly basic oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: body-centered cubic
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 52.848
1st Ionization Energy: 495.85 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 4562.48 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 6910.33 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-23-5
EC Number: N/A
MDL Number: MFCD00085307
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Na]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Na
InChI Key: KEAYESYHFKHZAL-UHFFFAOYSA-N
PubChem CID: 5360545
ChemSpider ID: 4514534
Earth - Total: 1250 ppm
Mercury - Total: 200 ppm
Venus - Total: 1390 ppm 
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 11050000
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 2970000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 23000000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 21000000
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 40000
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 2000
Stream, ppb by weight: 8000
Stream, ppb by atoms: 350
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 5600000
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 4800000
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: 1400000
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: 380000
Universe, ppb by weight: 20000
Universe, ppb by atom: 1000
Discovered By: Humphry Davy
Discovery Date: 1807
First Isolation: Humphry Davy (1807)

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Sodium

Safety data for sodium and its compounds can vary widely depending on the form. For potential hazard information, toxicity, and road, sea and air transportation limitations, such as DOT Hazard Class, DOT Number, EU Number, NFPA Health rating and RTECS Class, please see the specific material or compound referenced in the Products tab. The below information applies to elemental (metallic) Sodium.

Safety Data
Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS
Signal Word Danger
Hazard Statements H260-H314
Hazard Codes F,C
Risk Codes 14/15-34
Safety Precautions 26-36/37/39-43-45
RTECS Number N/A
Transport Information UN 1428 4.3/PG 1
WGK Germany 2
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)
Corrosion-Corrosive to metals Flame-Flammables

Sodium Isotopes

Sodium (Na) has 20 isotopes ranging from 18Na to 37Na. Only 23Na is stable.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
18Na 18.02597(5) 1.3(4)E-21 s p to 17Ne; β+ to 18Ne (1-)# N/A 109.78 -
19Na 19.013877(13) <40 ns p to 18Ne (5/2+)# N/A 129.04 -
20Na 20.007351(7) 447.9(23) ms β+ to 20Ne; β+ + α to 16O 2+ N/A 142.71 -
21Na 20.9976552(8) 22.49(4) s EC to 21Ne 3/2+ N/A 160.11 -
22Na 21.9944364(4) 2.6027(10) yr EC to 22Ne 3+ 1.746 170.98 -
23Na 22.9897692809(29) STABLE - 3/2+ 2.21752 183.72 100
24Na 23.99096278(8) 14.9590(12) h β- to 24Mg 4+ 1.69 190.86 -
25Na 24.9899540(13) 59.1(6) s β- to 25Mg 5/2+ 3.683 199.87 -
26Na 25.992633(6) 1.077(5) s β- to 26Mg 3+ 2.851 205.16 -
27Na 26.994077(4) 301(6) ms β- to 27Mg; β- + n to 26Mg 5/2+ N/A 211.37 -
28Na 27.998938(14) 30.5(4) ms β- to 28Mg; β- + n to 27Mg 1+ N/A 215.72 -
29Na 29.002861(14) 44.9(12) ms β- to 29Mg; β- + n to 28Mg 3/2(+#) N/A 220.08 -
30Na 30.008976(27) 48.4(17) ms β- to 30Mg; β- + n to 29Mg; β- + 2n to 28Mg; β- + α to 26Ne 2+ N/A 222.57 -
31Na 31.01359(23) 17.0(4) ms β- to 31Mg; β- + n to 30Mg; β- + 2n to 29Mg; β- + 3n to 28Mg (3/2+) N/A 225.99 -
32Na 32.02047(38) 12.9(7) ms β- to 32Mg; β- + n to 31Mg; β- + 2n to 30Mg (3-,4-) N/A 227.54 -
33Na 33.02672(94) 8.2(2) ms β- + n to 32Mg; β- to 33Mg; β- + 2n to 31Mg 3/2+# N/A 230.03 -
34Na 34.03517(96)# 5.5(10) ms β- + 2n to 32Mg; β- to 34Mg; β- + n to 33Mg 1+ N/A 229.73 -
35Na 35.04249(102)# 1.5(5) ms β- to 35Mg; β- + n to 34Mg 3/2+# N/A 231.28 -
36Na 36.05148(102)# <260 ns Unknown N/A N/A 230.98 -
37Na 37.05934(103)# 1# ms [>1.5 µs] Unknown 3/2+# N/A 231.6 -
Sodium Elemental Symbol (Na)

Recent Research & Development for Sodium

  • Enshan Han, Qiming Jing, Lingzhi Zhu, Guowei Zhang, Shuqian Ma, The effects of sodium additive on Li1.17Ni0.10Co0.10Mn0.63O2 for lithium ion batteries, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 618, 5 January 2015
  • Yuchao Li, Jianguo Tang, Linjun Huang, Yao Wang, Jixian Liu, Xiangcai Ge, Sie Chin Tjong, Robert Kwok Yiu Li, Laurence A. Belfiore, Facile preparation, characterization and performance of noncovalently functionalized graphene/epoxy nanocomposites with poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate), Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Volume 68, January 2015
  • M. Afshari, M. Moradi, M. Rostami, Structural, electronic and magnetic properties of the (001), (110) and (111) surfaces of rocksalt sodium sulfide: A first-principles study, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, Volume 76, January 2015
  • Lucille Bodenes, Ali Darwiche, Laure Monconduit, Hervé Martinez, The Solid Electrolyte Interphase a key parameter of the high performance of Sb in sodium-ion batteries: Comparative X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy study of Sb/Na-ion and Sb/Li-ion batteries, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 273, 1 January 2015
  • Gurpreet Singh, Frederic Aguesse, Laida Otaegui, Eider Goikolea, Elena Gonzalo, Julie Segalini, Teofilo Rojo, Electrochemical performance of NaFex(Ni0.5Ti0.5)1−xO2 (x = 0.2 and x = 0.4) cathode for sodium-ion battery, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 273, 1 January 2015
  • E.J.C. Davim, M.H.V. Fernandes, A.M.R. Senos, Increased surface area during sintering of calcium phosphate glass and sodium chloride mixtures, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2015
  • Saeideh Hematian, Faramarz Hormozi, Drying kinetics of coated sodium percarbonate particles in a conical fluidized bed dryer, Powder Technology, Volume 269, January 2015
  • J. Suresh Kumar, K. Pavani, M.P.F. Graça, M.J. Soares, Enhanced green upconversion by controlled ceramization of Er3+–Yb3+ co-doped sodium niobium tellurite glass–ceramics for low temperature sensors, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 617, 25 December 2014
  • Xuebin Qiao, Yu Cheng, Lin Qin, Chuanxiang Qin, Peiqing Cai, Sun Il Kim, Hyo Jin Seo, Coprecipitation synthesis, structure and photoluminescence properties of Eu3+-doped sodium barium borate, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 617, 25 December 2014
  • Kaiqiang Wu, Jie Shu, Xiaoting Lin, Lianyi Shao, Mengmeng Lao, Miao Shui, Peng Li, Nengbing Long, Dongjie Wang, Enhanced electrochemical performance of sodium lithium titanate by coating various carbons, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 272, 25 December 2014