Zinc (Zn)

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Zinc 30Zn65.37

Known in India and China before 1500.

[German, zink]

French: zinc
German: Zink
Italian: zinco
Spanish: cinc

Description: Zinc is a bluish-white metal that is brittle when cast. It tarnishes in air and reacts with acids and alkalis. Zinc is used for galvanizing iron, in alloys such as brass, and in batteries. Zinc oxide is used in rubber and as a polymer stabiliser.



Zinc single crystal properties

State: single crystal
Crystal structure: hexagonal
Production method: Bridgman
Standard size: diameter 10-20mm
thickness 1-2mm
Orientation: (1001), (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: 99.999%
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: 7.14 g/cm3
Melting point: 419.58 °C / 692.73 °K
Boiling point: 906.85 °C / 1180 °K
Molar volume: 9.17 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 116 [300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 25.0 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 5.916x 10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: -2.20 x 10-9(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 104.5 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 41.9 GPa
Bulk modulus: 69.4 GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.249
Radii: Zn2+ 83; atomic 133; covalent 125
Electronegativity: 1.65 (Pauling); 1.66 (Allred); 4.45 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 4.35 (Slater); 5.97 (Clementi); 8.28 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 23
Issotope mass range: 57 -> 78
Crystal structure, (cell dimentions / pm), space group hexagonal
X-ray diffraction: mass absorption coefficients: CuKα 60.3 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKα 55.4 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.5680 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 1.11 sa / barns


Biological data

Biological role: Essential for all species
Toxic intake: generally regarded as of low toxicity
Lethal intake: LD50 (chloride, oral, rat) = 350 mg kg-1
Hazards: Zinc metal is a human skin irritant but otherwise is non-toxic and so are most common compounds; however, zinc salts have been shown to be experimental carcinogens.
Level in humans  
Blood: 7.0 mg dm-3
Bone: 75 - 170 p.p.m.
Liver: 240 p.p.m.
Muscle: 240 p.p.m.
Daily dietary intake: 5 - 40 mg
Total mass of element in average [70 kg] person: 2.3 mg


Geological data

MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Hemimorphite Zn4Si2O7(OH)2.H2O 3.475 4.5 - 5 orth., vit./pearly white
Hydrozincite Zn5(CO3)2(OH)6 4.00 2 - 2.5 mon., earthy/silky white etc.
Sphalerite ZnS 4.08 3.5 cub., yellow to brown
Smithsonite ZnCO3 4.2 4 - 4.5 rhom., vit. grey-white
Willemite Zn2SiO4 4.1 5.5 rhom., vitreous-resinous, white/pale green


Chief ore: sphalerite (with cadmium, gallium and indium as by-products), smithsonite, hemimorphite. Hydrozincit
World production: 5.02 x 106 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: USA, Canada, Australia, Austria, Russia, Turkey
Reserves: 110 x 106 tonnes
Specimen: available as dust, foila, granules, pieces, powder, shot, sticks and wire. Safe.


Sun: 2.82 x 104 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 75 p.p.m.
Residence time:  
Classification: recycled
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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