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Application Notes

Sodium • Alkali Metal

Primary XPS region: Nas
Overlapping regions: Ti LMM
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical state Binding energy Na1s / eV
Sodium compounds 1071–1071.5

Experimental Information

Interpretation of XPS Spectra

General comments

crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Na
Date of Discovery: 1807
Name Origin: English soda
Appearance: silvery
Discoverer: Sir Humphry Davy
Obtained From: table salts

Melting Point: 370.87 K
Boiling Point: 1156 K
Density[kg/m3]: 968
Molar Volume: 23.78 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 11
Neutrons: 12
Shell Structure: 2,8,1
Electron Configuration: [Ne]3s1
Oxidation State: 1
Crystal Structure: Cubic Body Centered

This soft, waxy, silvery, reactive metal was isolated in 1807 by Sir Humphry Davy, though it had been recognized in compounds long before. A compound of sodium was used as a headache remedy in Medieval Europe. The most common compound of sodium is sodium chloride, or table salt. Another compound is used in soap in combination with fatty acids. Sodium is the most abundant of all alkali metals, and the fourth most abundant element overall, making up 2.6% of the Earth’s crust. It is also relatively abundant in stars. Sodium, being highly reactive, burns with a yellow flame, oxidizes in air, and will spontaneously ignite in water. Sodium ions are necessary in the depolarization of cells, vital to the neural system of most animals, including humans.

Application Notes

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