Cerium (Ce)

Stable isotopes of cerium available from ISOFLEX

Isotope Z(p) N(n) Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Enrichment Level Chemical Form
Ce-136  58  78  135.90714 0.19%  30.00-53.40%  Oxide
Ce-138  58  80  137.90599 0.25%  13.60-41.60%  Oxide
Ce-140 58 82 139.905435 88.48% >99.00% Oxide
Ce-142 58 84 141.909241 11.08% 93.50-95.10% Oxide

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Cerium was discovered in 1803 by Wilhelm von Hisinger, Jöns Jakob Berzelius and Martin Heinrich Klaproth. It is named after the asteroid Ceres, which had been discovered just two years earlier.

Cerium is a grayish lustrous metal that is malleable and has four allotropic modifications. The common γ-form occurs at ordinary temperatures and atmospheric pressures. The β-form occurs at -16 ºC, the α-form occurs below -172 ºC, and the δ-form occurs at elevated temperatures above 725 ºC. Cerium reacts with water, while the metal is stable in dry air at ordinary temperatures. 

Compounds of cerium have many important industrial applications as catalysts, especially in the glass industry. Misch metal, an alloy of cerium with other lanthanides, is a pyrophoric substance and is used to make gas lighters and ignition devices. Some other applications of the metal or its alloys are in solid-state devices, rocket propellant compositions, as a getter in vacuum tubes, and as a diluent for plutonium in nuclear fuel. 

Properties of Cerium

Name Cerium 
Symbol Ce 
Atomic number 58 
Atomic weight 140.115 
Standard state Solid at 298 °K 
CAS Registry ID 7440-45-1 
Group in periodic table N/A
Period in periodic table
Block in periodic table f-block 
Color Silvery white 
Classification Metallic 
Melting point 799 °C
Boiling point 3426 °C
Vaporization point 3434 ºC
Thermal conductivity 11 W/(m·K)
Electrical resistivity 75.0 µΩ·cm at 25 °C 
Electronegativity 1.1
Specific heat 192 J/kg K
Heat of vaporization 350 kJ·mol-1
Heat of fusion 5.5 kJ·mol-1
Density of liquid 6.55 g/cm3 at 799 °C
Density of solid 6.77 g/cm3
Electronic configuration [Xe]4f15d16s2 
Metallic radius (alpha form) 1.8247 Å (coordination number 12) 
Atomic volume 20.696 cm3/mol
Common oxidation states  +3, +4 

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