Chem Explorers

Uncovering the Versatility of Ruthenium: Properties Uses and Future Innovations

Introduction to Ruthenium

Among the transition metals, the lesser-known member of the platinum family is Ruthenium. With its stunning characteristics, this element has gained significance in various fields of study.

In this article, we will explore the properties, isotopes, and occurrence of Ruthenium, and its fascinating history.

Properties of Ruthenium

Ruthenium is a transition metal that is known for its remarkable ductility. It is the 44th element in the periodic table and has the symbol ‘Ru.’ Its atomic number is 44, and its atomic mass is 101.07 u.

Ruthenium is a dense, hard, and lustrous metal that is silver-gray in color. It is a ferromagnetic metal and is one of the four metals that can retain its magnetization at room temperature.

Ruthenium is quite resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for use in alloys to resist oxidation. It is highly resistant to acids, alkalis, and tarnishing, making it a popular choice for the production of electrical contacts.

Ruthenium is also one of the rarest of the platinum group metals, making it highly valuable.

Isotopes of Ruthenium

Ruthenium has a wide range of isotopes, both unstable and stable. Its isotopes range from 87 to 120, with 26 of them known to be radioactive.

The most stable isotopes are Ruthenium-101, Ruthenium-102, and Ruthenium-104, with half-lives of 17.7, 5.5, and 50.8 years, respectively. It also has six naturally occurring isotopes: Ruthenium-96, 98, 99, 100, 101, and 102.

Natural Occurrence of Ruthenium

Ruthenium is a rare metal in the earth’s crust and is usually found in ores along with other platinum group metals. It is primarily found in the Ural Mountains in Russia and the Sudbury Basin in Canada.

This element can also be found in copper and nickel ores.

History of Ruthenium

Origin of Name

The name Ruthenium originates from the Latin word Ruthenia, the old name for Russia. This name was given to the element due to the fact that the majority of this metal is found in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

Discovery of Ruthenium

Ruthenium was first discovered in 1844 by Jedrzej Sniadecki, a Polish chemist. However, the discovery was not confirmed until two years later by Gottfried Osann and Karl Karlovich Klaus.


In conclusion, Ruthenium is a rare metal that possesses unique and fascinating properties. It is an essential element in various fields of study such as electrical engineering, catalysis, and chemical manufacturing.

With its successful history, widespread occurrence, and uniqueness, Ruthenium remains a valuable element in the scientific world.

3) Classification and Position on the Periodic Table

Ruthenium is located in Group 8, Period 5, and Block d of the periodic table. This noble metal is in the same group as Iron, Cobalt, and Nickel, and is considered a member of the platinum group metals.

With an atomic number of 44 and an atomic mass of 101.07 u, Ruthenium has nine isotopes in total, with stable isotopes ranging from Ruthenium-96

to Ruthenium-102.

Electronic Configuration and Atomic Data

Ruthenium has a valence electron configuration of 4d^7 5s^1. In its neutral state, Ruthenium has seven valence electrons in the 4d orbital and one electron in the 5s orbital.

The electron configuration of Ruthenium is [Kr] 4d^7 5s^1, which means that it has a total of 36 electrons. The ionic charge of Ruthenium can range from -1 to +8, with the most common being +3 and +4.

The atomic radius of Ruthenium is 134 picometers, and its electronegativity value is 2.2.

4) Properties and Characteristics of Ruthenium

Physical Properties

Ruthenium is a hard, brittle metal that is silvery-white in color. Its melting point is 2,334 degrees Celsius, and its boiling point is 4,215 degrees Celsius.

The density of Ruthenium is 12.45 grams per cubic centimeter, making it one of the densest elements known. Ruthenium is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, making it ideal for use in electrical contacts.

Chemical Properties

Ruthenium has ten oxidation states, ranging from -2 to +8. The most common oxidation states of Ruthenium are +2, +3, and +4.

Ruthenium is very resistant to corrosion, making it an excellent strong alloying material for platinum and other metals. It does not react with air at room temperature, but at high temperatures, Ruthenium can combust and burn to form Ruthenium oxide.

It is also highly resistant to acids and alkalis, making it an ideal material for use in the chemical process industry.

Bohr Model of Ruthenium

In the Bohr model, Ruthenium has 44 electrons and protons in its nucleus. The Bohr model is used to explain the positions of electrons in an atom and how they interact with each other.

Ruthenium has four energy levels, with the first energy level containing two electrons, the second energy level containing eight electrons, the third energy level containing eighteen electrons, and the fourth energy level containing sixteen electrons. The quantum numbers for the Ruthenium atom are n=4, l=2, ml= -2,-1,0,1,2, and ms=+1/2 or -1/2.



Conclusion, Ruthenium is a rare transition metal that has unique properties and characteristics. This element has found applications in various fields, including chemical manufacturing, petroleum refining, and electronics.

The accurate classification and the understanding of the electronic configuration and atomic data are crucial in the study of Ruthenium’s properties and behavior. Moreover, the knowledge of the Bohr model of Ruthenium is essential, as it helps in explaining the behavior of the element in various chemical reactions.

Finally, the physical and chemical properties of Ruthenium make it an essential material for various industrial processes.

5) Uses of Ruthenium

Ruthenium is a versatile metal that has found several industrial applications due to its unique properties. In this section, we will discuss some of the significant uses of Ruthenium.

Alloying Agent

Ruthenium is often used as an alloying agent in materials such as platinum and palladium, which increase their corrosion resistance. The Ruthenium alloying enhances the properties by creating a more homogenous metal structure in these alloys.


Ruthenium catalysts are used extensively in the chemical industry to create a wide range of high-value products. Ruthenium catalysts have been used in the production of acetic acid, a critical chemical for the production of various organic compounds.

It is also used in the production of ammonia, which is essential in the manufacturing of fertilizers.

Chlorine Production

Ruthenium is used as an electrode in electrochemical cells to produce chlorine gas. This method is far less harmful to the environment than other methods of producing chlorine.

Dental Implants

Ruthenium has also found use in dental implants. It is hypoallergenic, and patients who have allergic reactions to other metals such as nickel can use Ruthenium dental implants.

Ruthenium is inert in the body, and it does not react with the surrounding tissues. Before the use of Ruthenium dental implants, the patient should undergo a patch test to ensure that they have no allergic reaction.

Complex Dyes

Ruthenium complexes are also involved in dye-sensitized solar cells. The Ruthenium complex helps to absorb light, which generates electrical energy.

Dyes containing Ruthenium are also used in color photography and are known for their vivid colors.

Electrodeposited Ruthenium

Electrodeposited Ruthenium is a very efficient catalyst used in the production of hydrogen. It is used as a coating on electrodes in electrolysis cells to produce hydrogen gas from water.

Ruthenium Red

Ruthenium Red is a dye that is used in staining biological samples. It is mostly used for diagnosis in electron microscopy and for studying angiogenesis.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Ruthenium compounds, such as NAMI-A, KP1019, and Ruthenium porphyrin, have shown promising results in cancer treatment. These compounds work by impeding blood flow to the tumor, which leads to its destruction.

An advantage of Ruthenium is the low toxicity compared to other platinum group metals. Moreover, researchers are studying the cell apoptosis using Ruthenium compounds.

Rechargeable Batteries

Ruthenium nitride is emerging as a promising material in rechargeable batteries. It has high energy storage capacities and can store more energy than its traditional counterparts such as cobalt.


Ruthenium is relatively safe to handle and use, and it is considered less toxic than other metals of the platinum group. Although it is considered non-carcinogenic, inhalation of Ruthenium fumes can lead to respiratory problems.

Its ingestion can lead to stomach and intestinal problems.

6) Interesting Facts

Ruthenium Boride Films

Scientists are exploring Ruthenium boride films due to their high hardness and its potential applications in microelectronics. These films can increase the lifespan of various electronic devices and offer better performance.

New Ruthenium Compounds

Researchers are actively exploring the discovery of new Ruthenium compounds. This exploration is driven by the fact that Ruthenium is a paramagnet, and its magnetic properties can mimic those of other metals.

Ruthenium compounds are also involved in the design of new materials with remarkable properties.

Ruthenium Price

Ruthenium is one of the rarest metals in the earth’s crust. Its limited reserves and the extensive mining process make it less readily available, making it one of the most expensive metals on a per-gram basis.

As of 2021, the cost of Ruthenium is about $245 per gram.


In conclusion, Ruthenium is an essential element with a wide range of applications. Its unique properties, including electrical conductivity, resistance to corrosion, and high melting point, make it ideal for industrial uses.

The use of Ruthenium as an alloying agent, catalyst, staining agent, dental implants, and the production of yellow glass are some of the major commercial applications of this metal. Moreover, Ruthenium is involved in fields such as solar energy, electrochemistry, and hydrogen production.

The new Ruthenium compounds and Ruthenium boride films offer more possibilities and new research avenues. Therefore, a deeper understanding of its properties and characteristics is crucial for more innovations in the future.

Ruthenium, a transitional metal from the platinum family, possesses unique properties that have led to its versatile applications. From being used as an alloying agent to enhance corrosion resistance, a catalyst in various chemical reactions, an essential electrode in chlorine production, and even in dental implants due to its hypoallergenic properties, Ruthenium plays a crucial role in numerous industries.

Its involvement in dye-sensitized solar cells, anti-cancer research, and rechargeable batteries further demonstrates its significance. Explorations of Ruthenium boride films and new compounds highlight its potential for future innovations.

With its wide-ranging uses and fascinating properties, Ruthenium proves to be an element worth studying and harnessing for various technological advancements. FAQs:

1) Is Ruthenium toxic?

Ruthenium is relatively safe to handle, but inhalation of its fumes or ingestion can lead to respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. 2) Why is Ruthenium important in dental implants?

Ruthenium is hypoallergenic and inert in the body, making it suitable for patients with metal allergies. 3) What are the applications of Ruthenium in the field of cancer treatment?

Ruthenium compounds have shown promise in impeding tumor growth and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. 4) How much does Ruthenium cost?

As of 2021, the cost of Ruthenium is approximately $245 per gram due to its rarity and limited availability. 5) What are some potential future uses of Ruthenium?

Areas of exploration for Ruthenium include new compound discoveries and the study of Ruthenium boride films for applications in microelectronics. In a world where technological advancements are constantly sought after, the potential of Ruthenium and its unique properties cannot be underestimated.

Its applications in various industries, from healthcare to renewable energy, make it a valuable element with countless possibilities for future innovation. Understanding its characteristics and harnessing its potential can lead to significant advancements and continue to propel us towards a more technologically advanced society.

The journey of exploring and utilizing Ruthenium is just beginning, and its importance cannot be overlooked.

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