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Chemistry in its element: In this episode we come face to face with the chemical dubbed the connoisseur's element.
It's won a nobel prize as a catalyst, it's the muscle behind wear resistant electrical contacts and it might even help you to write nicely, unless you're a doctor, in which case you're probably beyond redemption. Jonathan Steed Stop the proverbial "man in the street" and ask him what ruthenium is and the chances are he won't be able to tell you.
Compared to the "sexier elements" that are household names like carbon and oxygen, ruthenium is, frankly, a bit obscure. In fact even if your man in the street was wearing a lab coat and walking on a street very close to a university chemistry department he might still be a bit ignorant about this mysterious metal.
It wasn't always that way, though. Twenty or thirty years ago whole generations of chemists did entire Ph. As one of that cohort of ruthenium chemists it is my duty to spread the word about the element once described by one of the fathers of modern inorganic chemistry, Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson as "an element for the connoisseur".
As I rustily recalled in response to the first question I was asked in my Ph.
The name was first proposed by Gottfried Osann inwho believed he had identified the metal, and the name was retained by Osann's countryman and in ruthenium's official discoverer Karl Klaus in honour of his birthplace in Tartu, Estonia; at the time a part of the Russian Empire.
Ruthenium's popularity in university chemistry departments in the latter half of the twentieth century was in no small part due to the fact that it is relatively cheap.
The rarity of the platinum group metals which are often found together makes them all expensive but unlike platinum, rhodium and palladium which have use in automobile catalytic converters, for example, ruthenium was historically not so much in demand.
Indeed for many years the metals company Johnson Matthey operated a loan scheme where they would give aspiring researchers g or so of ruthenium trichloride to experiment with in the hope the chemists would find new uses for the material. The loans scheme operated for the pricier metals like rhodium as well, but only in little 5 g pots.
A nice feature of the loans scheme was that chemists collected the metal-containing residues of their experiments and returned the resulting black, smelly sludge to the company for metals recovery.
So, from the s onwards when the field of organometallic chemistry burst onto chemists' consciousness, a lot of people were doing a lot of research with the connoisseur's element.
While it was a rhodium reaction that led the ever colourful Wilkinson to rush around his lab brandishing a foaming test tube and shouting "who wants a Ph. It turns out that ruthenium does indeed deserve Wilkinson's elegant description. While the element itself is an unremarkable looking, rather hard, white metal it forms a vast range of interesting compounds that seem to have that perfect balance between reactivity and stability to make them generally useful but easy to handle.
Like all of the platinum group metals, ruthenium complexes are good catalysts. Wind the clock forward towhen Yves Chauvin, Bob Grubbs and Dick Schrock were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis"; this synthetic chemistry award was a real boost for the "pot boilers".
And which of the platinum group metals is it that lies at the heart of Grubbs' elegant catalyst system for this fantastically useful, modern carbon-carbon bond forming reaction? It turns out that it is a cool carbene complex of the humble ruthenium that gets it just right.
It is this kind of niche application - just a little in the just the right place that I think Wilkinson was talking about. In fact, the harder you look the more you find just little bits of ruthenium stiffening the backbone of technology.
Due to its hardness ruthenium is used in alloys with other platinum group metals to make wear-resistant electrical contacts, and there is a vast amount of interest in ruthenium-based thin film microelectronics because the metal can be easily patterned.
If you are fan of fountain pens then the chances are you have written with a ruthenium alloy. The famous Parker 51 fountain pen has been fitted with an Ru nib since ; a 14K gold nib tipped with Ruthenium compounds also have some nice optical and electronic properties.
Like its lighter close relative, iron, ruthenium readily forms a number of oxides including some exotic oxygen bridged multi metallic compounds.
One such material, ruthenium red, is a dye used to stain negatively charged biomolecules such as nucleic acids in microscopy. Ruthenium complexes also have significant potential as anti-cancer treatments.
One of my personal favourites in the zoo of exotic ruthenium complexes is the Creutz-Taube ion - two ruthenium atoms surrounded by ammonia molecules and joined by a molecule of pyrazene imagine benzene but with a couple of nitrogen atoms.
This was the first genuinely delocalized mixed valence complex. It behaves for all the world as if the two metals have plus two and a half charges each even though charges only come in units of one!I hope all these self-assessment quizzes and work sheets will prove useful, whatever course you are initiativeblog.com down to see what's on offer and F/H means differentiation for UK GCSE/IGCSE foundation/higher level tier quizzes (it basically means easier on limited knowledge and harder on wider ranging questions).
Ionic compounds are composed of a positive ion and a negative ion bonded together in a specific When writing a formula for an ionic compound the charges from each ion are simply Writing Formulas: Ionic Compounds Name _____ Chem Worksheet 8 .
Ionic/Covalent Compound Naming Solutions. For each of the following questions, determine whether the compound is ionic or covalent and name it appropriately. 1) Na2CO3 sodium carbonate. 2) P2O5 diphosphorus pentoxide. Answers – Naming Chemical Compounds Author: Mgill Created Date.
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1 Naming Compounds Tutorial and Worksheet Since we use different methods in naming binary covalent (molecular) compounds and ionic compounds, the first step in naming or writing the formula of a compound is to determine which of the 2 compound classes it .
Ionic Compound Formula Writing Worksheet. Write chemical formulas for the compounds in each box. The names are found by finding the intersection between the. Naming Ionic Compounds – Answer Key.
Give the name and molar mass of the following ionic compounds: Name. 1)Na 2 CO 3. sodium carbonate. 2)NaOH.
sodium hydroxide. .