Palladium is a rare and precious metal. Thus, it is rarer than silver and twice as rare as gold. Like these metals, palladium has a lustrous surface and does not corrode easily. Palladium is found pure in nature, but it also has some rare minerals, such as braggite. Of its many applications, the main use of the element is in catalytic converters, from vehicle exhaust pipes. Also, palladium chloride, PdCl2, is used in carbon monoxide, CO, detectors. Because it is a precious metal, it is used to make commemorative coins in some countries. Steel can be made with palladium to make it more resistant to corrosion. These alloys are used to make expensive surgical tools and musical instruments. Palladium is often mixed with gold to form an alloy called white gold, which is used in jewelry. Some fountain pens have tips decorated with palladium. The element is also used in glucose test strips for glucometers to measure blood levels.

Summary of properties (Pd)

Atomic weight106.42(1)
Discoverer (year)Wollaston, William Hyde (1803)
Natural formmetallic solid (face centered cubic)
Electron configuration[Kr] 4d10
Melting point (ºC)1552
Boiling point (ºC)2927
Abundance in earth's crust (ppm)0.015
Isotope (abundance)102Pd (1.02), 104Pd (11.14), 105Pd (22.33), 106Pd (27.33), 108Pd (26.46), 110Pd (11.72)
Density g/cm312.02
Van der Waals radius (pm)210
Covalent radius (pm)130
Electronegativity (Pauling)2.2
Vaporization enthalpy (kJ/mol)393.00
Enthalpy of fusion (kJ/mol)15.74
Specific heat capacity (J/g·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.25
Thermal conductivity (W/cm·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.720
Oxidation state+3, +2
Electron affinity (eV)0.56
1st Ionization potential (eV)8.3369

Back to the Periodic Table of the Elements.