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About Promethium

Promethium Bohr

All of promethium’s isotopes are radioactive and have short half-lives, so appreciable amounts are not found in natural sources. The existence of an unknown element with atomic number 61 was predicted in 1914 by Henry Mosley, but the metal was not successfully produced and fully characterized until 1945. This was accomplished by Jacob A. Marinsky, Lawrence E. Glendenin, and Charles D. Coryell at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by separating and analyzing fission products of uranium. The name was derived from the Titan in Greek mythology who stole fire from Mount Olympus to give to humans, Prometheus. Since the element can only be obtained from a lab, it has few applications. The only isotope of promethium used outside of research is promethium-147, which is produced and used in very small (milligram) quantities in atomic batteries and signal lights containing phosphors that emit light in response to absorption of radiation emitted by the isotope. Since this relatively stable isotope emits x-rays, it could theoretically be used for portable x-ray sources.

Promethium Properties

Promethium Bohr ModelPromethium is a Block F, Group 3, Period 6 element. The number of electrons in each of Promethium's shells is 2, 8, 18, 23, 8, 2 and its electron configuration is [Xe] 4f5 6s2. The promethium atom has a radius of 183.pm and it's Van der Waals radius is 236.pm. In its elemental form, CAS 7440-12-2, promethium has a metalic appearance. Promethium was discovered by Chien Shiung Wu, Emilio Segrè, and Hans Bethe in 1942. It was first isolated by J. A. Marinsky, Lawrence Glendenin and Charles D. Coryell in 1945. The element name comes from Greek mythology after the titan, Prometheus, who stole the fire of Zeus and gave it to mankind.

Promethium is radioactive. Promethium information, including technical data, properties, and other useful facts are specified below. Scientific facts such as the atomic structure, ionization energy, abundance on Earth, conductivity, and thermal properties are included.

Symbol: Pm
Atomic Number: 61
Atomic Weight: 145
Element Category: Lanthanide
Group, Period, Block: n/a, 6, f
Color: silvery-white/ metallic
Other Names: Prometio, Promécio
Melting Point: 1042°C, 1907.6°F, 1315.15 K
Boiling Point: 3000°C, 5432°F, 3273.15 K
Density: 7.26 g·cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: N/A
Density @ 20°C: 7.220 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 7264 kg·m3
Specific Heat: N/A
Superconductivity Temperature: N/A
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): about 7.7
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 290
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): about 350
Thermal Conductivity: 17.9 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: (r.t.) ( poly) est. 11 µm/(m·K)
Electrical Resistivity: (r.t.) est. 0.75 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: N/A
Young's Modulus: (form) est. 46 GPa
Shear Modulus: ( form) est. 18 GPa
Bulk Modulus: ( form) est. 33 GPa
Poisson Ratio: ( form) est. 0.28
Mohs Hardness: N/A
Vickers Hardness: N/A
Brinell Hardness: N/A
Speed of Sound: N/A
Pauling Electronegativity: N/A
Sanderson Electronegativity: N/A
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.07
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: N/A
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 61
Protons: 61
Neutrons: 84
Electron Configuration: [Xe] 4f5 6s2
Atomic Radius: 183 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
2.38
Covalent Radius: 199 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.86
Van der Waals Radius: 236 pm
Oxidation States: 3 (mildly basic oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: hexagonal
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) Unknown
1st Ionization Energy: 538.39 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 1051.70 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2151.64 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-12-2
EC Number: N/A
MDL Number: N/A
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Pm]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Pm
InChI Key: VQMWBBYLQSCNPO-UHFFFAOYSA-N
PubChem CID: 23944
ChemSpider ID: 22386
Earth - Total: N/A
Mercury - Total: N/A
Venus - Total: N/A
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: N/A
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: N/A
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: N/A
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: N/A
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: N/A
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: N/A
Stream, ppb by weight: N/A
Stream, ppb by atoms: N/A
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: N/A
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: N/A
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: N/A
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: N/A
Universe, ppb by weight: N/A
Universe, ppb by atom: N/A
Discovered By: Chien Shiung Wu, Emilio Segrè, Hans Bethe
Discovery Date: 1942
First Isolation: Charles D. Coryell, Jacob A. Marinsky, Lawrence E. Glendenin, Harold G. Richter (1945)

Promethium Isotopes

Promethium (Pm) does not exist in nature (except in trace quantities from spontaneous fission and alpha decay of 151Eu). It has no stable isotopes.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
126Pm 125.95752(54)# 0.5# s Unknown N/A N/A 996.05 -
127Pm 126.95163(64)# 1# s Unknown 5/2+# N/A 1004.13 -
128Pm 127.94842(43)# 1.0(3) s β+ to 128Nd; p to 127Nd 6+# N/A 1021.53 -
129Pm 128.94316(43)# 3# s [>200 ns] β+ to 129Nd 5/2+# N/A 1029.61 -
130Pm 129.94045(32)# 2.6(2) s β+ to 130Nd; β+ + p to 129Pr (5+,6+,4+) N/A 1037.68 -
131Pm 130.93587(21)# 6.3(8) s β+ + p to 130Pr; β+ to 131Nd 5/2+# N/A 1055.08 -
132Pm 131.93375(21)# 6.2(6) s β+ to 132Nd; β+ + p to 131Pr (3+) N/A 1063.16 -
133Pm 132.92978(5) 15(3) s β+ to 133Nd (3/2+) N/A 1080.55 -
134Pm 133.92835(6) 22(1) s β+ to 134Nd (5+) N/A 1088.63 -
135Pm 134.92488(6) 49(3) s β+ to 135Nd (5/2+,3/2+) N/A 1096.71 -
136Pm 135.92357(8) 107(6) s β+ to 136Nd (5-) N/A 1104.79 -
137Pm 136.920479(14) 2# min β+ to 137Nd 5/2+# N/A 1112.87 -
138Pm 137.919548(30) 10(2) s β+ to 138Nd 1+# N/A 1130.26 -
139Pm 138.916804(14) 4.15(5) min β+ to 139Nd (5/2)+ N/A 1138.34 -
140Pm 139.91604(4) 9.2(2) s β+ to 140Nd 1+ N/A 1146.42 -
141Pm 140.913555(15) 20.90(5) min β+ to 141Nd 5/2+ N/A 1154.5 -
142Pm 141.912874(27) 40.5(5) s β+ to 142Nd 1+ N/A 1162.58 -
143Pm 142.910933(4) 265(7) d EC to 143Nd 5/2+ 3.8 1170.66 -
144Pm 143.912591(3) 363(14) d EC to 144Nd 5- 1.7 1178.73 -
145Pm 144.912749(3) 17.7(4) y EC to 145Nd; α to 141Pr 5/2+ N/A 1186.81 -
146Pm 145.914696(5) 5.53(5) y EC to 146Nd; β- to 146Sm 3- N/A 1194.89 -
147Pm 146.9151385(26) 2.6234(2) y β- to 147Sm 7/2+ 2.6 1202.97 -
148Pm 147.917475(7) 5.368(2) d β- to 148Sm 1- 2 1211.05 -
149Pm 148.918334(4) 53.08(5) h β- to 149Sm 7/2+ 3.3 1219.13 -
150Pm 149.920984(22) 2.68(2) h β- to 150Sm (1-) N/A 1217.89 -
151Pm 150.921207(6) 28.40(4) h β- to 151Sm 5/2+ 1.8 1225.97 -
152Pm 151.923497(28) 4.12(8) min β- to 152Sm 1+ N/A 1234.05 -
153Pm 152.924117(12) 5.25(2) min β- to 153Sm 5/2- N/A 1242.13 -
154Pm 153.92646(5) 1.73(10) min β- to 154Sm (0,1) N/A 1250.21 -
155Pm 154.92810(3) 41.5(2) s β- to 155Sm (5/2-) N/A 1258.28 -
156Pm 155.93106(4) 26.70(10) s β- to 156Sm 4- N/A 1257.05 -
157Pm 156.93304(12) 10.56(10) s β- to 157Sm (5/2-) N/A 1265.13 -
158Pm 157.93656(14) 4.8(5) s β- to 158Sm N/A N/A 1273.2 -
159Pm 158.93897(21)# 1.47(15) s β- to 159Sm 5/2-# N/A 1281.28 -
160Pm 159.94299(32)# 2# s β- to 160Sm N/A N/A 1280.05 -
161Pm 160.94586(54)# 700# ms β- to 161Sm 5/2-# N/A 1288.12 -
162Pm 161.95029(75)# 500# ms β- to 162Sm N/A N/A 1286.89 -
163Pm 162.95368(86)# 200# ms β- to 163Sm 5/2-# N/A 1294.96 -
Promethium Elemental Symbol

Recent Research & Development for Promethium

  • The Radiochemical Determination of Promethium-147 in Fission Products. R. D. Britt. Anal. Chem.
  • Radiochemical Determination of Yttrium and Promethium. A Precipitation Technique.. M. E. Pruitt, R. R. Rickard, E. I. Wyatt. Anal. Chem.
  • Calorimetric Determination of the Mean β-Energy and Half-Life of Promethium-1471. E. J. Wheelwright, D. M. Fleming, F. P. Roberts. J. Phys. Chem.
  • Liquid Scintillation Counting of Promethium-147. Bioassay Procedure. J. D. Ludwick. Anal. Chem.
  • Mutual Separation of Yttrium-91 and Promethium-147 by Countercurrent Solvent Extraction in Pulse Column. M. A. Mandil, G. W. Mason, D. F. Peppard. Ind. Eng. Chem. Proc. Des. Dev.
  • The Absorption Spectrum of Element 61, Promethium1,2. G. W. Parker, P. M. Lantz. J. Am. Chem. Soc.
  • THE MAGNETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY OF PROMETHIUM-147 OXIDE. J. C. Sheppard, E. J. Wheelwright, F. P. Roberts. J. Phys. Chem.
  • Isolation of strontium-90, yttrium-90, promethium-147, and cerium-144 from wet ashed urine by calcium oxalate coprecipitation and sequential solvent extraction. Gary H. Kramer, Janet M. Davies. Anal. Chem.
  • The Near-Infrared Transitions of the Trivalent Lanthanides in Solution. III. Promethium (III)1. W. T. Carnall, P. R. Fields, G. E. Toogood. J. Phys. Chem.
  • Removal of the samarium isobaric interference from promethium mass analysis. Robert W. Shaw, J. P. Young, D. H. Smith. Anal. Chem.
  • Determination of carrier-free promethium by ion-focusing electrophoresis. H. Y. Gee, M. W. Nathans. Anal. Chem.
  • Preparation of promethium-147 metal and determination of the density and melting point. Earl J. Wheelwright. J. Phys. Chem.
  • Radiochemical Separation of Fission Products from Large Volumes of Sea Water. Strontium, Cesium, Cerium, and Promethium. T. T. Sugihara, H. I. James, E. J. Troianello, V. T. Bowen. Anal. Chem.
  • Sparkle/PM3 Parameters for the Modeling of Neodymium(III), Promethium(III), and Samarium(III) Complexes. Ricardo O. Freire, Nivan B. da Costa, Jr., Gerd B. Rocha, and Alfredo M. Simas. J. Chem. Theory Comput.: June 15, 2007
  • Sparkle/AM1 Parameters for the Modeling of Samarium(III) and Promethium(III) Complexes. Ricardo O. Freire, Nivan B. da Costa Junior, Gerd B. Rocha, and Alfredo M. Simas. J. Chem. Theory Comput.: December 8, 2005