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Americium

Americium

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Published by Paul Muljadi
Americium
Americium

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Published by: Paul Muljadi on Jul 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/05/2013

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Americium1
Americium
Americium
Appearance
silvery white
General propertiesName, symbol, number
americium, Am, 95
Pronunciation
 / 
ˌ
æm
əˈ
r
ɪ
si
ə
m/ 
 AM 
-
 ə
-
 RIS
-ee-
 ə
m
Element category
actinide
Group, period, block
n/a, 7, f 
Standard atomic weight
(243)
 
g·mol
1
Electron configuration
[Rn] 5f 
7
7s
2
Electrons per shell
2, 8, 18, 32, 25, 8, 2 (Image)
Physical propertiesPhase
solid
Density (near r.t.)
12 g·cm
3
Melting point
1449 K,1176 °C,2149 °F
Boiling point
2880 K,2607 °C,4725 °F
Heat of fusion
14.39 kJ·mol
1
Specific heat capacity
(25 °C) 62.7 J·mol
1
·K
1
Vapor pressure
 P
 /Pa1101001 k10 k100 k at
 /K12391356
Atomic propertiesOxidation states
7, 6, 5, 4,
3
, 2(amphoteric oxide)
Electronegativity
1.3 (Pauling scale)
Ionization energies
1st: 578 kJ·mol
1
Atomic radius
173
 
pm
 
Americium2
Covalent radius
180±6 pm
MiscellaneaCrystal structure
hexagonal
Magnetic ordering
paramagnetic
Electrical resistivity
0.69
[1]
µΩ·m
Thermal conductivity
(300 K) 10 W·m
1
·K
1
CAS registry number
7440-35-9
Most stable isotopesisoNAhalf-lifeDMDE
 
(MeV)DP
241
Amsyn432.2 ySF--α5.486
237
Np
242m
Amsyn141 yIT0.049
242
Amα5.637
238
NpSF--
243
Amsyn7370 ySF--α5.275
239
Np
Americium
(
ˌ
æm
əˈ
r
ɪ
si
ə
m/ 
 AM 
-
 ə
-
 RIS
-ee-
 ə
m
) is a transuranic radioactive chemical element that has the symbol
Am
and atomic number 95. This transuranic element of the actinide series is located in the periodic table below thelanthanide element europium, and thus by analogy was named after another continent, America.
[2]
Americium was first produced in 1944 by the group of Glenn T. Seaborg at the University of California, Berkeley.Although it is the third element in the transuranic series, it was discovered fourth, after the heavier curium. Thediscovery was kept secret and only released to the public in November 1945. Most americium is produced bybombarding uranium or plutonium with neutrons in nuclear reactors
 –
one tonne of spent nuclear fuel contains about100 grams of americium. It is widely used in commercial ionization chamber smoke detectors, as well as in neutronsources and industrial gauges. Several unusual applications, such as a nuclear battery or fuel for space ships withnuclear propulsion, have been proposed for the isotope
242m
Am, but they are as yet hindered by the scarcity and highprice of this nuclear isomer.Americium is a relatively soft radioactive metal with silvery appearance. Its most common isotopes are
241
Am and
243
Am. In chemical compounds, they usually assume the oxidation state +3, especially in solutions. Several otheroxidation states are known, which range from +2 to +7 and can be identified by their characteristic optical absorptionspectra. The crystal lattice of solid americium and its compounds contains intrinsic defects, which are induced byself-irradiation with alpha particles and accumulate with time; this results in a drift of some material properties.
 
Americium3
History
The 60-inch cyclotron at theLawrence Radiation Laboratory,University of California, Berkeley, inAugust 1939.The triangle in the glass tubecontains the first sample of americium (as the hydroxide),produced in 1944.[3]
Although americium was likely produced in previous nuclear experiments, it wasfirst intentionally synthesized, isolated and identified in late autumn 1944, at theUniversity of California, Berkeley by Glenn T. Seaborg, Leon O. Morgan, RalphA. James, and Albert Ghiorso. They used a 60-inch cyclotron at the University of California, Berkeley.
[4]
The element was chemically identified at theMetallurgical Laboratory (now Argonne National Laboratory) of the Universityof Chicago. Following the lighter neptunium, plutonium, and heavier curium,americium was the fourth transuranium element to be discovered. At the time,the periodic table had been restructured by Seaborg to its present layout,containing the actinide row below the lanthanide one. This led to americiumbeing located right below its twin lanthanide element europium; it was thus byanalogy named after another continent, America: "The name americium (after theAmericas) and the symbol Am are suggested for the element on the basis of itsposition as the sixth member of the actinide rare-earth series, analogous toeuropium, Eu, of the lanthanide series."
[5][6][7]
The new element was isolated from its oxides in a complex, multi-step process.First plutonium-239 nitrate (
239
PuNO
3
) solution was coated on a platinum foil of about 0.5 cm
2
area, the solution was evaporated and the residue was convertedinto plutonium dioxide (PuO
2
) by annealing. After cyclotron irradiation, thecoating was dissolved with nitric acid, and then precipitated as the hydroxideusing concentrated aqueous ammonia solution. The residue was dissolved inperchloric acid. Further separation was carried out by ion exchange, yielding acertain isotope of curium. The separation of curium and americium was sopainstaking that those elements were initially called by the Berkeley group as
 pandemonium
(from Greek for
all demons
or
hell
) and
delirium
(from Latin for
madness
).
[8][9][10][11]
Initial experiments yielded four americium isotopes:
241
Am,
242
Am,
239
Am and
238
Am. Americium-241 was directly obtained from plutonium upon absorptionof one neutron. It decays by emission of a α-particle to
237
Np; the half-life of this decay was first determined as 510± 20 years but then corrected to 432.2 years.
[12]The times are half-lives
The second isotope
242
Am was produced upon neutron bombardment of the already-created
241
Am. Upon rapidβ-decay,
242
Am converts into the isotope of curium
242
Cm (which had been discovered previously). The half-life of this decay was initially determined at 17 hours, which was close to the presently accepted value of 16.02 h.
[12]
The discovery of americium and curium in 1944 was closely related to the Manhattan Project; the results wereconfidential and declassified only in 1945. Seaborg leaked the synthesis of the elements 95 and 96 on the U.S. radioshow for children, the Quiz Kids, five days before the official presentation at an American Chemical Society meetingon 11 November 1945, when one of the listeners asked whether any new transuranium element beside plutonium andneptunium had been discovered during the war.
[8]
After the discovery of americium isotopes
241
Am and
242
Am, their

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