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Promethium • Lanthanide Rare Earth

Primary XPS region: Pm3d
Overlapping regions: N/A
Binding energies of common chemical states: N/A

Experimental Information


Interpretation of XPS spectra


crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Pm
Date of Discovery: 1945
Name Origin: Greek prometheus
Appearance: unknown
Discoverer: J.A. Marinsky, et al.
Obtained From: fission of U, Th or Pu

Melting Point: 1371 K
Boiling Point: 3273 K Density[kg/m3]: 7264
Molar Volume: 20.23 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 61
Neutrons: 84
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,23,8,2
Electron Configuration: [Xe]6s24f5
Oxidation State: 3
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

Promethium has been found in the spectrum of the star HR465 in Andromeda, but does not occur naturally on earth. Little is known of metallic promethium’s properties, however promethium salts glow in the dark with a pale blue or green color because they are highly radioactive. Because of its radioactivity, handling promethium requires great care, as it can emit X-rays during its beta decay. Promethium is used in a nuclear battery where photocells convert light into electric current, with a useful battery life of around five years. It is also a beta radiation source for thickness gages. The element’s name originates from Prometheus of Greek mythology, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind.


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