Skip to Main Content

About Technetium

Technetium Bohr

By the early twentieth century, what we know as the modern periodic table had largely taken shape. For the most part, what chemical discoveries remained would require the use of nuclear reactors rather than the traditional chemist’s patient examination and chemical analysis of unusual ores. There were, however, a few holes remained in the table, including the spot reserved for element 43, which by this time had acquired a long and troubled history. As early as 1828, various investigators claimed to have isolated a new element which would fill this hole, but for the next century, every scientist who put forth this claim was eventually proven false.

Eventually theoretical work provided an explanation for these many failures, establishing that element 43 would be unstable, and therefore impossible to isolate in appreciable quantities from natural sources. This led to attempts to produce element 43 in a laboratory, including those of the Italian chemists Carlo Perrier and Emilo Segre, which proved successful in December 1936. Thus the new element technetium became the first element to be artificially produced, and to this day remains the only element to ever be discovered in Italy.

Though technetium is known to exhibit some useful chemical properties, including the ability to protect steel from corrosion in aqueous solutions, its radioactivity precludes most avenues for exploiting these properties. The primary applications for the element are related to its radioactivity. The short-lived gamma-emitter technectium-99m (a medical isomer of technetium-99) is useful medically, as it can be bound to a number of compounds used by the body. It is routinely used in medical imaging of a variety of organ systems. Technetium-99, on the other hand, decays slowly by emitting only beta particles, and is in fact used as a standard beta emitter for equipment calibration. This same isotope also has potential for use in specialized applications such as nuclear batteries.

Tc-99 is routinely produced as a component of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, from which it can be isolated. Tc-99m has a very short half-life, and must be produced from the radioactive decay of molybdenum-99, which itself is produced by irradiating uranium in dedicated reactors.

Technetium Properties

Technetium Bohr ModelTechnetium is a Block D, Group 7, Period 5 element. The number of electrons in each of Technetium's shells is 2, 8, 18, 13, 2 and its electron configuration is [Kr] 4d5 5s2. The technetium atom has a radius of 135.2.pm and its Van der Waals radius is 200.pm. In its elemental form, CAS 7440-26-8, technetium has shiny gray appearance. Technetium is produced as a byproduct of the nuclear industry from spent nuclear fuel rods and was the first element to be made artificially. This is indicated by its name which originates from the Greek word "technetos" meaning artificial. Nearly all technetium is synthetically produced; however, it is found in nature in minute amounts as a result of naturally occurring spontaneous fission or neutron capture by molybdenum. Technetium was discovered by Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segre in 1937. Technetium is used in nuclear medicine for a wide variety of diagnostic tests.

Technetium 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: Tc
Atomic Number: 43
Atomic Weight: 98
Element Category: transition metal
Group, Period, Block: 7, 5, d
Color: silver-gray/silvery gray metallic
Other Names: N/A
Melting Point: 2157 °C, 3914.6 °F, 2430.15 K
Boiling Point: 4265 °C, 7709 °F, 4538.15  K
Density: 11 g·cm3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: N/A
Density @ 20°C: 11.5 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 11500 kg·m3
Specific Heat: N/A
Superconductivity Temperature: 7.8 [or -265.3 °C (-445.5 °F)] K
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 11.3
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 357
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 356.69
Thermal Conductivity: 50.6 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: N/A
Electrical Resistivity: N/A
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 24.27 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: N/A
Shear Modulus: N/A
Bulk Modulus: N/A
Poisson Ratio: N/A
Mohs Hardness: N/A
Vickers Hardness: N/A
Brinell Hardness: N/A
Speed of Sound: (20 °C) 16,200 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: 1.9
Sanderson Electronegativity: N/A
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.36
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: 2.1
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 43
Protons: 43
Neutrons: 55
Electron Configuration: [Kr] 4d5 5s2
Atomic Radius: 1.36 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
2.16
Covalent Radius: 147±7 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.38
Van der Waals Radius: N/A
Oxidation States: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, -1, -3 (strongly acidic oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: hexagonal close-packed
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 53.048
1st Ionization Energy: 702.42 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 702.42 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2850.20 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-26-8
EC Number: N/A
MDL Number: N/A
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [Re]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/Tc
InChI Key: GKLVYJBZJHMRIY-UHFFFAOYSA-N
PubChem CID: N/A
ChemSpider ID: 22396
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: Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segrè
Discovery Date: 1937
First Isolation: Carlo Perrier and Emilio Segrè (1937)

Technetium Isotopes

Technetium has no stable isotopes (all are radioactive).

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
85Tc 84.94883(43)# <110 ns β+ to 85Mo; p to 84Mo; β+ + p to 84Nb 1/2-# N/A 686.89 -
86Tc 85.94288(32)# 55(6) ms β+ to 86Mo (0+) N/A 700.55 -
87Tc 86.93653(32)# 2.18(16) s β+ to 87Mo 1/2-# N/A 714.22 -
88Tc 87.93268(22)# 5.8(2) s β+ to 88Mo (2,3) N/A 726.03 -
89Tc 88.92717(22)# 12.8(9) s β+ to 89Mo (9/2+) N/A 738.77 -
90Tc 89.92356(26) 8.7(2) s β+ to 90Mo 1+ N/A 750.57 -
91Tc 90.91843(22) 3.14(2) min β+ to 91Mo (9/2)+ N/A 763.31 -
92Tc 91.915260(28) 4.25(15) min β+ to 92Mo (8)+ N/A 774.18 -
93Tc 92.910249(4) 2.75(5) h EC to 93Mo 9/2+ 6.26 786.92 -
94Tc 93.909657(5) 293(1) min EC to 94Mo 7+ 5.08 795.93 -
95Tc 94.907657(6) 20.0(1) h EC to 95Mo 9/2+ 5.89 805.87 -
96Tc 95.907871(6) 4.28(7) d EC to 96Mo 7+ 5.04 813.95 -
97Tc 96.906365(5) 2.6E+6 y EC to 97Mo 9/2+ N/A 822.96 -
98Tc 97.907216(4) 4.2(3)E+6 y β- to 98Ru (6)+ N/A 830.11 -
99Tc 98.9062547(21) 2.111(12)E+5 y β- to 99Ru 9/2+ 5.6847 839.12 -
100Tc 99.9076578(24) 15.8(1) s β- to 100Ru; EC to 100Mo 1+ N/A 846.26 -
101Tc 100.907315(26) 14.22(1) min β- to 101Ru 9/2+ N/A 860.86 -
102Tc 101.909215(10) 5.28(15) s β- to 102Ru 1+ N/A 868.94 -
103Tc 102.909181(11) 54.2(8) s β- to 103Ru 5/2+ N/A 877.02 -
104Tc 103.91145(5) 18.3(3) min β- to 104Ru (3+)# N/A 875.78 -
105Tc 104.91166(6) 7.6(1) min β- to 105Ru (3/2-) N/A 883.86 -
106Tc 105.914358(14) 35.6(6) s β- to 106Ru (1,2) N/A 891.94 -
107Tc 106.91508(16) 21.2(2) s β- to 107Ru (3/2-) N/A 900.02 -
108Tc 107.91846(14) 5.17(7) s β- to 108Ru (2)+ N/A 908.1 -
109Tc 108.91998(10) 860(40) ms β- to 109Ru; β- + n to 108Ru 3/2-# N/A 916.18 -
110Tc 109.92382(8) 0.92(3) s β- to 110Ru; β- + n to 109Ru (2+) N/A 914.94 -
111Tc 110.92569(12) 290(20) ms β- to 111Ru; β- + n to 110Ru 3/2-# N/A 923.02 -
112Tc 111.92915(13) 290(20) ms β- to 112Ru; β- + n to 111Ru 2+# N/A 931.1 -
113Tc 112.93159(32)# 170(20) ms β- to 113Ru 3/2-# N/A 929.86 -
114Tc 113.93588(64)# 150(30) ms β- to 114Ru 2+# N/A 937.94 -
115Tc 114.93869(75)# 100# ms [>300 ns] β- to 115Ru 3/2-# N/A 946.02 -
116Tc 115.94337(75)# 90# ms [>300 ns] Unknown 2+# N/A 944.78 -
117Tc 116.94648(75)# 40# ms [>300 ns] Unknown 3/2-# N/A 952.86 -
118Tc 117.95148(97)# 30# ms [>300 ns] Unknown 2+# N/A 951.62 -
Technetium (Tc) Elemental Symbol

Recent Research & Development for Technetium

  • Alternative chromatographic system for the quality control of lipophilic technetium-99m radiopharmaceuticals such as [99mTc(MIBI)6]+ Faria DP, Buchpiguel CA, Marques FL. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2015 Mar 3
  • Technetium-99m dimercaptosuccinic acid scan in evaluation of renal cortical scarring: Is it mandatory to do single photon emission computerized tomography? Saleh Farghaly HR, Mohamed Sayed MH. Indian J Nucl Med. 2015 Jan-Mar
  • (99m)Technetium Sestamibi-(123)Iodine Scintigraphy Is More Accurate Than (99m)Technetium Sestamibi Alone before Surgery for Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Ryhänen EM, Schildt J, Heiskanen I, Väisänen M, Ahonen A, Löyttyniemi E, Schalin-Jäntti C, Välimäki MJ. Int J Mol Imaging. 2015
  • Multiple metastases of soft tissue visualized by technetium-99m-methylene diphosphonate scintigraphy: a case report. Liberatore M, Megna V, Patrizi G, Giannotti D, Proietti Semproni C, Rebonato S, Barchetti F, Gallo P, Miscusi G. J Med Case Rep. 2014 Dec 22
  • Laparoscopic sentinel lymph node detection after hysteroscopic injection of technetium-99 in patients with endometrial cancer. Favero G, Pfiffer T, Ribeiro A, Carvalho JP, Baracat EC, Mechsner S, Chiantera V, Köhler C, Schneider A. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2015 Mar
  • The use of radioactive iodine-125 seed localization in patients with non-palpable breast cancer: A comparison with the radioguided occult lesion localization with 99m technetium. van der Noordaa ME, Pengel KE, Groen E, van Werkhoven E, Rutgers EJ, Loo CE, Vogel W, Vrancken Peeters MJ. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2015 Feb 3.
  • Management of gallbladder dyskinesia: patient outcomes following positive (99m)technetium (Tc)-labelled hepatic iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scintigraphy with cholecystokinin (CCK) provocation and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Dave RV, Pathak S, Cockbain AJ, Lodge JP, Smith AM, Chowdhury FU, Toogood GJ. Clin Radiol. 2015 Apr
  • Identification of Staphylococcus aureus infection by aptamers directly radiolabeled with technetium-99m. Dos Santos SR, Rodrigues Corrêa C, Branco de Barros AL, Serakides R, Fernandes SO, Cardoso VN, de Andrade AS. Nucl Med Biol. 2015 Mar
  • Use of 99m-technetium-glucoheptonate as a tracer for brain tumor imaging: An overview of its strengths and pitfalls. Santra A, Kumar R, Sharma P. Indian J Nucl Med. 2015 Jan-Mar
  • Measurement of technetium-99m sestamibi signals in rats administered a mitochondrial uncoupler and in a rat model of heart failure. Kawamoto A, Kato T, Shioi T, Okuda J, Kawashima T, Tamaki Y, Niizuma S, Tanada Y, Takemura G, Narazaki M, Matsuda T, Kimura T. PLoS One. 2015 Jan 16
  • An uncommon case showing three different pathologies on (99m)technetium-methylene diphosphonate bone scintigraphy. Chakraborty PS, Karunanithi S, Dhull VS, Kumar K, Gupta R, Tripathi M. Indian J Nucl Med. 2015 Jan-Mar
  • The diagnostic value of technetium 99m pertechnetate salivary gland scintigraphy in patients with certain salivary gland diseases. Wu CB, Xi H, Zhou Q, Zhang LM. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Mar
  • Rhenium and technetium tricarbonyl, {M(CO)3} + (M = Tc, Re), binding to mammalian metallothioneins: new insights into chemical and radiopharmaceutical implications. Lecina J, Palacios O, Atrian S, Capdevila M, Suades J. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2014 Dec 16.
  • Comparison of Thyroid Blood Flow and Uptake Indices Using Technetium-99m Pertechnetate in Patients with Graves' Disease and Euthyroid Subjects. Javadi H, Pashazadeh AM, Mogharrabi M, Nabipour I, Kalantarhormozi M, Assadi M. Mol Imaging Radionucl Ther. 2014 Oct 5
  • Technetium-99m-pertechnetate scintigraphy in children with symptomatic Meckel's diverticulum. Biassoni L, Easty M, Sinha C. Nucl Med Commun. 2015 Apr
  • Technetium-99m and rhenium-188 complexes with one and two pendant bisphosphonate groups for imaging arterial calcification. Bordoloi JK, Berry D, Khan IU, Sunassee K, de Rosales RT, Shanahan C, Blower PJ. Dalton Trans. 2015 Mar 3
  • Rhenium and technetium complexes that bind to amyloid-β plaques. Hayne DJ, North AJ, Fodero-Tavoletti M, White JM, Hung LW, Rigopoulos A, McLean CA, Adlard PA, Ackermann U, Tochon-Danguy H, Villemagne VL, Barnham KJ, Donnelly PS. Dalton Trans. 2015 Mar 3
  • Prostate perfusion mapped by technetium-99m macroaggregated albumin after selective arterial injection. Abele JT, Moore R, Tymchak W, Owen RJ. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2015 Mar
  • Synthesis, physicochemical and biological evaluation of technetium-99m labeled lapatinib as a novel potential tumor imaging agent of Her-2 positive breast cancer. Gniazdowska E, Ko?mi?ski P, Ba?kowski K, ?uniewski W, Królicki L. Eur J Med Chem. 2014 Nov 24
  • Quantitative assessment of thyroid-to-background ratio improves the interobserver reliability of technetium-99m sestamibi thyroid scintigraphy for investigation of amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis. Pattison DA, Westcott J, Lichtenstein M, Toh HB, Gunawardana D, Better N, Forehan S, Sivaratnam D. Nucl Med Commun. 2015 Apr