Polonium (Po) Elemental Symbol

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Polonium Polonium Polonio Polônio Polonio Polonium

Polonium Bohr ModelPolonium is a Block P, Group 16, Period 6 element. The number of electrons in each of polonium's shells is 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 6 and its electron configuration is [Xe]6s24f145d106p4. The polonium atom has a radius of 168pm and it's Van der Waals radius is 197pm. In its elemental form, CAS 7440-08-6, polonium has a silvery gray appearance. Polonium was first discovered by Madame Marie Curie and and Pierre Curie in 1898 who extracted it from Pitchblende, a then known uranium source. Polonium is named after Madame Curie's birthplace of Poland. Polonium is produced during the decay of naturally occurring uranium-238. It has 33 isotopes, all of which are radioactive. Polonium 210 is a radioactive element with a half life of approximately 138.39 days. It occurs naturally and is widely distributed in small amounts in the earth's crust. Polonium's most stable isotope is Polonium 209 with a half life of 102 years. Polonium is now commercially produced by neutron bombardment of bismuth 209 isotopes.

Polonium-210 has been used as a heat source to power thermoelectric cells in satellites. Polonium-210 mixed or alloyed with beryllium is used in neutron sources. Polonium is also used to eliminate static electricity in machinery and to remove dust from camera lenses and film. Polonium is both toxic and radioactive. Polonium 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.

  • Properties
  • Research
  • Isotopes
  • Other Elements

Polonium Properties

Symbol: Po Melting Point: 527 K, 254 °C, 489 °F
Atomic Number: 84 Boiling Point: 1235 K, 962 °C, 1764 °F
Atomic Weight: 209 Density: (alpha) 9.196 g·cm−3
Element Category: post-transition metal Liquid Density @ Melting Point: N/A
Group, Period, Block: 16 (chalcogens), 6, p Specific Heat: N/A
    Heat of Vaporization 120.9 kJ mol-1
CHEMICAL STRUCTURE Heat of Fusion a. 13 kJ·mol−1
Electrons: 84 Thermal Conductivity:  ? 20 W·m−1·K−1
Protons: 84 Thermal Expansion: (25 °C) 23.5 µm·m−1·K−1
Neutrons: 125 Electrical Resistivity: (0 °C) (α) 0.40 µΩ·m
Electron Configuration: [Xe]6s24f145d106p Electronegativity: 2.0 (Pauling scale)
Atomic Radius: 168 pm Tensile Strength: N/A
Covalent Radius: 140±4 pm Molar Heat Capacity: 26.4 J·mol−1·K−1
Van der Waals radius: 197 pm Young's Modulus: N/A
Oxidation States: 6, 4, 2, −2 (amphoteric oxide) Shear Modulus: N/A
Phase: Solid Bulk Modulus: N/A
Crystal Structure: cubic Poisson Ratio: N/A
Magnetic Ordering: nonmagnetic Mohs Hardness: N/A
1st Ionization Energy: 1st: 812.1 kJ·mol−1 Vickers Hardness: N/A
2nd Ionization Energy: N/A Brinell Hardness: N/A
3rd Ionization Energy: N/A Speed of Sound: N/A
CAS Number: 7440-08-6 Abundance in typical human body, by weight: N/A
ChemSpider ID: 4886482 Abundance in typical human body, by atom: N/A
PubChem CID: 6328143 Abundance in universe, by weight: N/A
MDL Number: N/A Abundance in universe, by atom: N/A
EC Number: N/A Discovered By: Pierre Curie and Marie Curie
Beilstein Number: N/A Discovery Date: 1898
SMILES Identifier: [Po]  
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Po Other Names:  

Recent Research & Development for Polonium

    • Volatile dimethyl polonium produced by aerobic marine microorganisms. Bahrou AS, Ollivier PR, Hanson TE, Tessier E, Amouroux D, Church TM. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Oct 16;46(20):11402-7. doi: 10.1021/es3006546. Epub 2012 Sep 25.
    • polonium (²¹°Po), uranium (²³4U, ²³8U) isotopes and trace metals in mosses from Sobieszewo Island, northern Poland. Borylo A, Nowicki W, Olszewski G, Skwarzec B. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2012;47(12):1831-42. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2012.689549.
    • Review of chemical and radiotoxicological properties of polonium for internal contamination purposes. Ansoborlo E, Berard P, Den Auwer C, Leggett R, Menetrier F, Younes A, Montavon G, Moisy P. Chem Res Toxicol. 2012 Aug 20;25(8):1551-64. doi: 10.1021/tx300072w. Epub 2012 Jun 12. Review.
    • polonium, uranium and plutonium radionuclides in aquatic and land ecosystem of Poland. Skwarzec B, Struminska-Parulska DI, Borylo A, Kabat K. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2012;47(3):479-96. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2012.646153.
    • The London polonium incident: lessons in risk communications. Rubin GJ, Amlôt R, Page L. Health Phys. 2011 Nov;101(5):545-50. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182259a61.
    • Prevalence of and risks for internal contamination among hospital staff caring for a patient contaminated with a fatal dose of polonium-210. le Polain de Waroux O, Cohuet S, Bishop L, Johnson S, Shaw K, Maguire H, Charlett A, Fraser G. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Oct;32(10):1010-5. doi: 10.1086/661913. Epub 2011 Aug 19.
    • Proceedings of the International Topical Meeting on polonium and Radioactive Lead Isotopes. October 26-28, 2009. Seville, Spain. [No authors listed] J Environ Radioact. 2011 May;102(5):413-533. No abstract available.
    • polonium and lung cancer. Zagà V, Lygidakis C, Chaouachi K, Gattavecchia E. J Oncol. 2011;2011:860103. doi: 10.1155/2011/860103. Epub 2011 Jun 23.
    • Epidemiology of internal contamination with polonium-210 in the London incident, 2006. Fraser G, Giraudon I, Cohuet S, Bishop L, Maguire H, Thomas HL, Mandal S, Anders K, Sanchez-Padilla E, Charlett A, Evans B, Gross R. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2012 Feb;66(2):114-20. doi: 10.1136/jech.2009.102087. Epub 2011 Jun 2.
    • Marie Curie: recipient of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and discoverer of the chemical elements polonium and radium. Friedrich C, Remane H. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2011 May 16;50(21):4752-8. doi: 10.1002/anie.201008063. Epub 2011 Mar 29. No abstract available.
    • Early onset of ground state deformation in neutron deficient polonium isotopes. Cocolios TE, Dexters W, Seliverstov MD, Andreyev AN, Antalic S, Barzakh AE, Bastin B, Büscher J, Darby IG, Fedorov DV, Fedosseyev VN, Flanagan KT, Franchoo S, Fritzsche S, Huber G, Huyse M, Keupers M, Köster U, Kudryavtsev Y, Mané E, Marsh BA, Molkanov PL, Page RD, Sjoedin AM, Stefan I, Van de Walle J, Van Duppen P, Venhart M, Zemlyanoy SG, Bender M, Heenen PH. Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Feb 4;106(5):052503. Epub 2011 Feb 2.
    • polonium-210 and lead-210 in the terrestrial environment: a historical review. Persson BR, Holm E. J Environ Radioact. 2011 May;102(5):420-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2011.01.005. Epub 2011 Mar 5. Review.
    • Releases of phosphate fertilizer industry in the surrounding environment: investigation on heavy metals and polonium-210 in soil. Aoun M, El Samrani AG, Lartiges BS, Kazpard V, Saad Z. J Environ Sci (China). 2010;22(9):1387-97.
    • polonium (210Po) and lead (210Pb) in marine organisms and their transfer in marine food chains. Carvalho FP. J Environ Radioact. 2011 May;102(5):462-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.10.011. Epub 2010 Nov 23.
    • [polonium-210 in fishes from the Black Sea]. Lazorenko GE, Polikarpov GG. Radiats Biol Radioecol. 2010 Jul-Aug;50(4):398-404. Russian.
    • Transfer factors of polonium from soil to parsley and mint. Al-Masri MS, Al-Hamwi A, Eadan Z, Amin Y. J Environ Radioact. 2010 Dec;101(12):1038-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.08.002. Epub 2010 Sep 15.
    • The international follow-up of individuals potentially exposed to polonium-210 in London 2006. Shaw K, Anders K, Olowokure B, Fraser G, Maguire H, Bailey M, Smith J, Frossell S, Yap K, Evans B; Health Protection Agency Overseas Advice Team. Public Health. 2010 Jun;124(6):319-25. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2010.03.013. Epub 2010 May 23.
    • Assessing public health risk in the London polonium-210 incident, 2006. Maguire H, Fraser G, Croft J, Bailey M, Tattersall P, Morrey M, Turbitt D, Ruggles R, Bishop L, Giraudon I, Walsh B, Evans B, Morgan O, Clark M, Lightfoot N, Gilmour R, Gross R, Cox R, Troop P. Public Health. 2010 Jun;124(6):313-8. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2010.03.023.
    • The polonium-210 public health assessment: the need for medical toxicology expertise in radiation terrorism events. Nemhauser JB. J Med Toxicol. 2010 Sep;6(3):355-9. doi: 10.1007/s13181-010-0090-x. No abstract available.
    • Phases of polonium via density functional theory. Verstraete MJ. Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Jan 22;104(3):035501. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

Polonium Isotopes

Polonium (Po) has 33 isotopes, all of which are radioactive.

Nuclide Symbol Isotopic Mass Half-Life Nuclear Spin
188Po 187.999422 430(180) µs [0.40(+20-15) ms] 0+
189Po 188.998481 5(1) ms 3/2-
190Po 189.995101 2.46(5) ms 0+
191Po 190.994574 22(1) ms 3/2-
192Po 191.991335 32.2(3) ms 0+
193Po 192.991030 420(40) ms [370(+46-40) ms] 3/2-
194Po 193.988186 0.392(4) s 0+
195Po 194.988110 4.64(9) s 13/2+
196Po 195.985535 5.56(12) s 0+
197Po 196.985660 53.6(10) s 3/2-
198Po 197.983389 1.77(3) min 0+
199Po 198.983666 5.48(16) min 3/2-
200Po 199.981799 11.5(1) min 0+
201Po 200.982260 15.3(2) min 3/2-
202Po 201.980758 44.7(5) min 0+
203Po 202.981420 36.7(5) min 5/2-
204Po 203.980318 3.53(2) h 0+
205Po 204.981203 1.66(2) h 5/2-
206Po 205.980481 8.8(1) d 0+
207Po 206.981593 5.80(2) h 5/2-
208Po 207.9812457 2.898(2) a 0+
209Po 208.9824304 102(5) a 1/2-
210Po 209.9828737 138.376(2) d 0+
211Po 210.9866532 0.516(3) s 9/2+
212Po 211.9888680 299(2) ns 0+
213Po 212.992857 3.65(4) µs 9/2+
214Po 213.9952014 164.3(20) µs 0+
215Po 214.9994200 1.781(4) ms 9/2+
216Po 216.0019150 0.145(2) s 0+
217Po 217.006335 1.47(5) s 5/2+
218Po 218.0089730 3.10(1) min 0+
219Po 219.01374 >300 ns 7/2+
220Po 220.01660 >300 ns 0+