Platinum (Pt)

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Platinum 78Pt195.09

Known to pre-Columbian South Americans and taken to Europe about 1750.

[Spanish, platina = silver]

French: platine
German: Platin
Italian: platino
Spanish: platino

Description: Platinum is a lustrous, silvery-white, malleable and ductile metal. It is unaffected by air and water, and will only dissolve in aqua regia (HCl/HNO3) and molten alkalis. Platinum is used in jewellery, anti-cancer drugs, catalysts an catalytic convertors.



Platinum single crystal properties

State: single crystal
Crystal structure: fcc
Production method: Czochralski
Standard size: diameter 10-12mm
thickness 1-2mm
Orientation: (100), (110) and (111)
Orientation accuracy: <2°, <1°, <0.4° or <0.1°
Polishing: as cut, one or two sides polished
Roughness of surface: <0.03µm
Purity: 99.99%
Typical analysis (ppm): C 3
H < 1
O 9
N < 5
Cu 1.60
Fe 1.80
Ni < 1
Pb 0.30
Si 0.30

Ga, Hf and Ta are below the detection limit

Materials properties

Density: 21.4 g/cm3
Melting point: 1771.85 °C / 2045 °K
Boiling point: 3826.85 ±100 °C / 4100±100 °K
Molar volume: 9.10 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 71.6 [300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 9.0 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 10.6x 10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: +1.301 x 10-8(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 170 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 60.9 GPa
Bulk modulus: 276 GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.39
Radii: Pt4+ 70; Pt2+ 85; atomic 138; covalent 129
Electronegativity: 2.28 (Pauling); 1.44 (Allred); 5.6 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 4.05 (Slater); 10.75 (Clementi); 15.65 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 36
Issotope mass range: 172 -> 201
Crystal structure, (cell dimentions / pm), space group fcc
X-ray diffraction: mass absorption coefficients: CuKα 200 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKα 113 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.960 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 10.3 sa / barns


Biological data

Biological role: none
Toxic intake: regarded as non-toxic
Lethal intake: LD50 (PtCl2, oral, rat)= 17.5 mg kg-1
Hazards: Platinum implants are generally tolerated by the body. Platinum salts are poisonous.
Level in humans  
Daily dietary intake: n.a.
Total mass of element in average [70 kg] person: n.a


Geological data

MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Platiniridium (Ir, Pt) 22.7 6 - 7 cub., met. white
platinum Pt c. 21 4 - 4.5 cub., metallic white/grey


Chief ore: platinum ore; some platinum is extracted as a by-product of copper and nickel refining.
World production: 30 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: native platinum occurs naturally, mostly as nuggets, in the rivers of the Urals in Russia and in deposits in Canada, South Africa, Columbia and Peru.
Reserves: n.a.
Specimen: available as foil, gauze, sponge, powder or wire. Safe.


Sun: 56.2 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: c. 0.001 p.p.m.
Residence time:  
Oxidation state: II

Source: Emsley, J. (1998) The Elements (3rd Edition)

Overview of elements with access to our shop

1 18
2 13 14 15 16 17
Li Be B C
Na Mg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Al Si P S
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo
Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I
Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi
Ce Pr Nd
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu

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