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What is Tellurium?

Tellurium is one of the rarest elements found under it and its symbol is Te. This article contains information about the properties and uses of tellurium.

Discovery and Naming

Tellurium, whose Latin name is tellus, means Earth. In the 1700’s, a substance found in various ores confused scientists. Although they cannot isolate the substance, the properties of the ores show that the substance has both metallic and non-metallic properties. They named the new substance aurum paradoxum, which means paradoxical / illogical gold, or metalum problematum, which means problem metal. In 1782, the Austro-Hungarian mineralogist Baron Franz Muller von Reichenstein purified a substance he believed contained antimony from a Transylvanian gold ore. This ore is actually gold tellurium and is commonly known as caulverite. Muller began to believe that his initial thoughts were wrong and that he might be dealing with a new element. Torbern Bergman, in Uppsala, Sweden, sent a small sample in April 1784, accepting that the substance did not contain antimony. Bergman requested more samples in order to examine the substance further, but died in July of that year. Twelve years later, Muller sent a sample to Martin H. Klaproth in Berlin, who isolated tellurium.

In 1798, Klaproth made public the existence of a new element in the sample sent to him by Muller. Klaproth named the new element tellurium, and its name comes from the Latin word tellus, meaning Earth. However, the research of tellurium chemistry took another 34 years. In 1832, Jons Jacob Berzelius made a detailed study of its elements and compounds in Stockholm, Sweden. He decided that tellurium is a metal, but explained that it belongs to the same group as nonmetallic sulfur and selenium due to the similarity of its compounds. Tellurium is classified as a metalloid because it has properties that sit between metals and nonmetals, as the confused scientists first realized in the 1700s.

Tellurium is a metalloid and is located at the border between metals and nonmetals in the periodic table.

Group 15 Group 16 Group 17

4th Row 33 Ace 34 Se 35 Br

5th Row 51 Sb 52 Te 53 I

6. Line 83 Bi 84 Po 85 Horse

In addition, Cadmium tellurium (CaTe) is used in solar panels as a thin film that converts sunlight into electricity. These solar panels are more efficient than amorphous silicon alternatives. Catalite is also known as gold tellurium, AuTe 2.

Physical Properties

• Tellurium is a very rare element occurring at about 1-5 parts per billion (ppb), even less than platinum, which is 5-37 ppb.

• In fact, it is the rarest element in solid and stable form.

• Tellurium is rarely available in its pure form and is often combined with gold (chalverite, krennerite, petzite, silvanite) and other metals.

• It is a shiny and shining silver colored element.

• It is fragile.

• Tellurium exhibits metalloid properties, which means it exhibits the properties of non-metals as well as metals.

• It can act as semiconductor electricity.

• Tellurium is commercially available as a byproduct of a chemical process for refining copper and lead.

• The boiling point of tellurium is 990ºC.

• Melting point is 450ºC.

• It is initially found in solid form in nature, but it can also be found in powder form.

• When it burns in the air, it emits a bluish green flame.

Chemical Properties

• The chemical symbol of tellurium is Te.

• 13-17 in the periodic table. It is among the groups.

• Its atomic number is 52.

• Its atomic mass is 127.6 amu.

• Atomic volume is between 3 / mol with 20.5 cm.

• The number of protons and electrons in a single tellurium atom is 52.

• The number of neutrons in a tellurium atom is 76.

• It has a hexagonal crystal structure.

• Density 6,24 g / cm 3

• Specific heat capacity of tellurium is 0.20 Jg -1 K -1.

• Ionization energy of which is 869.2 kJ.mol -1, 1794.6 kJ.mol -1 and 2697.7 kJ.mol -1

• The shell structure of tellurium -2,8,18,18,6

• Electronic configuration of Tellurium is [Kr] 4d 10 5s 2 5p 4

• Tellurium has a total of 33 isotopes, 5 of which are stable. These are 120 Te, 122 Te, 124 Te, 125 Te and 126 Te.

• Tellurium is mildly toxic, and when exposed to very small amounts of tellurium, people can develop tellurium breath (garlic scent) for months.

Tellurium Uses

Tellurium has many common uses and these are:

• Tellurium is used to make stainless steel and lead alloys.

• Bismuth in the form of telluride is used in thermoelectric devices.

• It is used in making calculators and computers because it is semiconductor.

• Tellurium is also used in the ceramic and stained glass painting industry.

• Explosion caps for explosives are made of tellurium.

• Vulcanization of rubber and petroleum cracking are processes using tellurium.

• Tellurium suboxide is also used to make rewritable CDs and DVDs.

• Tellurium in sulfuric acid is used to reduce its corrosive properties.

• It is used to increase the hardness and strength of lead.

• Tellurite agar is used to identify pathogens responsible for diphtheria.

• Cast iron alloys also use tellurium for cooling testing and control.

Tellurium Tellurium is sometimes found naturally in nature. More commonly, it coexists with metals such as caleverite (gold tellurium) and silvanate (silver-gold tellurium) minerals. It is commercially obtained as a byproduct of electrolytic copper refining. Isotopes have 33 isotopes with known half-lives, mass numbers 106 to 138. Naturally occurring tellurium is a mixture of eight isotopes and is present in the percentages shown. These percentages are as follows:

  • 120 Te (0.1%)
  • 122 Te (2.6%)
  • 123 Te (0.9%)
  • 124 Te (4.8%)
  • 125 Te (7.1%)
  • 126 Te (19.0%)
  • 128 Te (31.7%)
  • 130 Te (33.8%)
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