Rhenium (Re)

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Rhenium 75Re186.2

Discovered in 1925 by W. Noddack, Ida Tacke and O. Berg at Berlin, Germany.

[Greek, Rhenus = river Rhine]

French: Rhénium
German: Rhenium
Italian: Renio
Spanish: Renio

Description: Rhenium is a silvery metal, but is usually obtained as a grey powder. It resists corrosion but slowly tarnishes in moist air. Rhenium dissolves in HNO3 an H2SO4. It is used in filaments, thermistors and catalysts.



Rhenium single crystal properties

State: Single crystal
Crystal structure: hexagonal
Production method: Floating zone
Standard size: diameter 6mm
thickness 1-2mm
Orientation: (0001), (1-100) and (11-20)
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: 12.4 g/cm3
Melting point: 3179.85 °C / 3453 °K
Boiling point: 5626.85 °C / 5900 °K
Molar volume: 8.86 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 47.9 [300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 6.63 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 19.3x 10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: +4.56 x 10-9(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 466 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 181 GPa
Bulk modulus: 334 GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.26
Radii: Re7+ 60; Re6+ 61; Re4+ 72; atomic 137; covalent 12
Electronegativity: 1.9 (Pauling); 1.46 (Allred); 4.02 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 3.60 (Slater); 10.12 (Clementi); 14.62 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 34
Issotope mass range: 162 -> 192
Crystal structure, (cell dimentions / pm), space group hexagonal
X-ray diffraction: mass absorption coefficients: CuKα 179 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKα 103 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.92 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 89.7 sa / barns


Biological data

Biological role: none
Toxic intake: n.a.
Lethal intake: LD50 (ReCl3, intraperitoneal, mouse)= 280 mg kg-1
Hazards: There are no reported cases of humans beeing affected by rhenium. Like other powdered metals, rhenium dust could pose a moderate fire or explosion hazard.
Level in humans  
Daily dietary intake: n.a.
Total mass of element in average [70 kg] person: n.a., but very low


Geological data

MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance


Chief ore: Rhenium is extracted from the flue dusts of molybdenum smelters.
World production: 4.5 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: see molybdenum
Reserves: 3500 tonnes
Specimen: available as foil, powder, ribbon or wire. CARE !


Sun: <2 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 4 x 10-4 p.p.m.
Residence time:  
Oxidation state: III

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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