Rhodium

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Rhodium

This is rhodium.

Symbol Be
Atomic number 45
Atomic mass 102.9055 amu

Rhodium was discovered in 1803, after the discovery of platinum and palladium. Rhodium was named because of its distinctive red-to-rosy coloured salts.

Distinguishing properties

Rhodium is a platinum metal and shares some of the notable properties of platinum, including its resistance to corrosion, its hardness and ductility. Rhodium has a very high melting point and good electrical conductivity.

Occurrence

Wherever there is platinum in the earth, there is rhodium as well. In fact, most rhodium is extracted from a sludge that remains after platinum is removed from the ore. A high percentage of rhodium is also found in certain nickel deposits in Canada.

Usage

Rhodium's properties make it suitable for high temperature alloys, electrical devices, and furnace windings. Other uses include its use in the manufacture of special high temperature crucibles for laboratory applications. It is also a good hardener for platinum and palladium. Rhodium also makes a lustrous, hard coating for other metals in such items as table silver and camera parts. A thin film of rhodium deposited on glass makes excellent mirrors.

See also

Periodic table of the elements