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In atomic physics and quantum chemistry, the electron configuration is the distribution of electrons of an atom or molecule (or other

physical structure)
in atomic or molecular orbitals.[1] For example, the electron configuration of the neon atom is 1s2 2s2 2p6.
Electronic configurations describe electrons as each moving independently in an orbital, in an average field created by all other orbitals. Mathematically,
configurations are described by Slater determinants or configuration state functions.
According to the laws of quantum mechanics, for systems with only one electron, an energy is associated with each electron configuration and, upon certain
conditions, electrons are able to move from one configuration to another by the emission or absorption of a quantum of energy, in the form of a photon.
Knowledge of the electron configuration of different atoms is useful in understanding the structure of the periodic table of elements. This is also useful for
describing the chemical bonds that hold atoms together. In bulk materials, this same idea helps explain the peculiar properties of lasers and semiconductors.

A uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures

ACETIC ACID and See ETHANOIC More on carboxylic acids at GCSE Extra Organic Chemistry Notes, see
ACIDS Compounds Uses of acids: Look up individual acids by name for their uses, too many to list
HCl,HNO3, H2SO4 containing an 'acidic' here. Detailed chemistry notes onAcids, Bases, Alkalis, pH, Neutralisation & Salts
CH3COOH etc. H that can be GCSE Revision Notes.
replaced by a metal or
ammonium ion. Acids
react with metals,
oxides, hydroxides
and carbonates to
form salts. If soluble n
water give a pH < 7.
ACRYLIC MATERIALS Large organic Uses of acrylic materials: They make tough flexible plastics or sticky resins that
e.g. molecules formed by can solidified in context e.g. paints, moulded bone substitute. These resins and
polymethylmethacrylate polymerising plastics have a huge range of uses. Poly(methyl acrylate) is used in emulsion
(PMMA), man-made unsaturated form in textile and leather finishes, lacquers, paints, adhesives and safety glass
organic polymers. molecules (alkenes layers (can replace glass in many situations). Poly(methyl methylacrylate), PMMA
with the C=C double is a clear plastic material (Perspex) which can be injection moulded and extruded
carbon=carbon bond into a variety of products e.g. transparent impact resistant screens like car
group) such as methyl headlamps-aircraft windows, aquarium tanks, eye lenses, bone substitutes, signs.
acrylate (methyl Acrylic paints consist of PMMA 'resin' suspended in water mixed with the colour
propenoate), methyl pigment. Polyacryonitrile is used to make artificial fibres and elastomers
methylacrylate (materials with elastic rubbery properties) for the textile industry.
(methyl 2-methyl
acrylic acid
(propenoic acid).
PMMA when cast in
sheets has the trade
name Perspex.
ALCOHOLS Organic compounds Uses of alcohols: Wide range of uses e.g. fuels, solvents, esters, starting
(compounds) of C, H and O atoms molecule to make other molecules. Best to see methanol, ethanol
e.g. CH3OH, CH3CH2OH forming a homologous ('alcohol') and esters.
etc. series of molecules
containing the
hydroxyl functional
group -OH. They are
colourless molecular
liquids at room
ALKALIS Dissolve in water to Uses of alkalis: Best to look up individual acids by name for their uses e.g. sodium
give alkaline solutions hydroxide, calcium hydroxide. Their single biggest function is to make salts by
of pH > 7 because the reaction with acids. Detailed chemistry notes at Acids, Bases, Alkalis, pH,
hydroxide ion, OH-, is Neutralisation & Salts GCSE Revision Notes
ALKALI METALS Group 1 elements of Uses of alkali metals: See individual metals and their compounds
the periodic table. e.g. sodium, sodium chloride etc.
Alkali Metal
Notes and Advanced
Level s-block notes
ALKALINE EARTH Group 2 elements of Uses of alkaline earth metals: See individual metals and their compounds
METALS the periodic table. e.g. calcium, calcium carbonate etc.
ALKANES (compounds) Covalent saturated Uses of alkanes: Widely used as fuels from natural gas, petrol, central heating oil,
Homologous series of hydrocarbon paraffin/candle wax etc.
hydrocarbon compounds molecules consisting see also methane, ethane, propane, butane
of general of combinations of and GCSE notes on Oil and its useful products
formula CnH2n+2 where n carbon and hydrogen
= 1, 2, 3 etc. atoms.
Flammable, smelly
colourless gases or
liquids or white waxy
solids of little odour,
depending on the
value of n.
ALKENES (compounds) They are small Uses of alkenes: Alkenes are not used directly for anything BUT they are readily
Homologous series of unsaturated covalent converted to other very useful organic molecules e.g. you can add water to
hydrocarbon compounds hydrocarbon make ethanol, as unsaturated monomer molecules they can be polymerised to
of general formula molecules of carbon make useful polymer-plastic materials called poly('alkene name') e.g. ethene
CnH2n where n = 2, 3, 4 and hydrogen atoms. makes poly(ethene).
etc. They have a C=C See also ethene, propene and GCSE notes on Oil and its useful products
double bond which
makes them reactive.
The first few in the
series are the most
useful and are
pungent smelling
colourless gases.
ALLOYS a mixture of Huge range of mainly Uses of alloys: Huge range, need to look up individual alloys in this list or
metal atoms with other solid (sometimes elsewhere. By varying the mixture you can design an alloy material to suit a wide
metal or non-metal liquids) mixtures of a range of applications and uses e.g. alloys like steel, brass, nitinol/NiTi,
atoms metal mixed with
other metals or non-
metals. They are
good conductors of
heat/electricity but
can have a wide
variety of strengths
and melting
points. Metal structure
& properties notes
ALUMINIUM (aluminum, Relative low density Uses of aluminium: Used for electrical power lines-cables (with copper),
element) ('light'), quite strong, saucepans (less so, aluminium ions are harmful if aluminium dissolves in fruit
Al atoms high melting metal juices), many alloys e.g. with magnesium to make strong light metal fabrication
and a good conductor products like aircraft wings, food and drink containers and kitchen foil.
of heat and electricity.
See Metal structure &
properties notes and
Al is obtained from
bauxite ore,
seeExtraction of
ALUMINIUM HYDROXIDE It is an amphoteric Uses of aluminium hydroxide: Used in antacid mixtures because it will neutralise
(compound) hydroxide, and with acids.
Al(OH)3 acids it will react as a
mild base to
neutralise acids -
hence its use as in
ant-acid medicines.
AMALGAM (mixture of Alloy mixture of Uses of amalgam: Initially prepared by the dentist as a paste which solidifies to
metal atoms) mercury and other make a dental filling.
AMINO ACIDS (organic These covalent Uses of amino acids: The body needs amino acids and gets them from the
compound) molecules usually digestion of protein from meat, fish, eggs, cheese and grain etc. The body then
contain a carboxylic uses them to build up its own required protein structures from muscle fibres to
group (-COOH) and enzymes.
the amino group (-
NH2). When pure they
are colourless
crystalline substances
which usually dissolve
in water.
AMMONIA and Ammonia is a small Uses of ammonia: Neutralised by acids fertilisers such as ammonium sulphate
AMMONIUM SALTS covalent molecule of and ammonium nitrate to provide plants with the essential element nitrogen. It is
(compounds) nitrogen and oxidised (plus water) to manufacture nitric acid which is used in fertiliser and
NH3 molecules hydrogen. Its a organic dyestuff manufacture. Ammonia is used in nylon manufacture and the
NH4 ... compounds colourless pungent aqueous solution used in the home in oven cleaning products.
smelling gas that is Uses of ammonium salts: Ammonium chloride paste is the electrolyte in zinc
very soluble in water. carbon batteries. As already mentioned - typical fertiliser salts ammonium nitrate,
It is a base/alkali and ammonium sulphate and ammonium phosphate.
reacts with acids to See GCSE notes on Ammonia and Nitric Acid and Acids, Bases, Alkalis,
form salts. pH, Neutralisation & Salts GCSE Revision Notes
Ammonium salts are
colourless ionic
crystalline solids
which are soluble in
ANTIOXIDANTS (usually These are usually Uses of antioxidants: They are added to protect/preserve foods, particularly those
organic compounds, organic molecules containing fat. They are used to reduce the ageing/deterioration of rubber and
naturally found and with quite variable plastics. The body needs anti-oxidants to reduce the potential harm of free
manmade) molecular structure. radicals. Vitamins C and E function as antioxidants and must fruits and
They slow down vegetables contain antioxidants.
oxidation rates in
substances by
removing highly
reactive species like
free radicals.
ANTISEPTICS (usually Usually organic Antiseptics kill microorganisms but are safe enough to use on the skin. Ethanol is
organic compounds) molecules, often widely used in hand washes in hospitals and iodine is a disinfectant for surgical
based on phenol. procedures e.g. for treating skin prior to an operation.
Dettol and TCP They are not as strong acting as disinfectants and can be used safely on skin and
antiseptics are other tissue cells you wish to leave unharmed.
formulations of
chlorinated phenol
molecules. Ethanol
and iodine have
powerful antiseptic
ARGON (element) Colourless chemically Uses of argon: It is its chemical inertness that makes them so useful. A
Ar atoms unreactive gas ('inert') small amount is in light bulbs to minimise evaporation of the metal at the
belong to the 'Noble high temperatures of the filament but will not oxides the metal. It is used in steel
Gases' Group 0 of the making by bubbling it through the mixture to allow stirring of the mixture and
Periodic Table. prevent oxidation of the metals in the hot liquid mixture.
B uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
BAKELITE phenol- BAKELITE is a hard Uses of bakelite: These phenol-formaldehyde plastics/resins have a wide rage of
formaldehyde resin brittle plastic or thick uses e.g. electrical fittings, saucepan handles, ... (but now replaced by PVC and
compounds resin made from poly(propene).
phenol and
(methanal). When
solid it has a strong
cross-linked polymer
structure which is an
excellent electrical
insulator and quite
heat resistance - its a
BASES Substances that react Uses of bases: Need to look up individual bases/alkalis like ammonia, sodium
with acids, the hydroxide, calcium oxide etc.
neutralisation reaction
producing salts. If
soluble in water they
are called alkalis.
BAUXITE A mineral ore Uses of bauxite: One of the main ores for extracting the metal aluminium.
consisting mainly of
aluminium oxide.
BIODEGRADABLE A term, usually Uses of biodegradable fuels: Biodegradable plastic are being developed and
MATERIALS applied to waste technical progress seems good so far!
materials, meaning
that they will be
naturally broken down
by natural means so
as not to leave a
potential pollutant.
BIOFUELS Biofuels are organic Uses of biofuels: e.g. sugar beet to produce sugar which is fermented into
fuel molecules made ethanol. Rape seed oil can be made into biodiesel for agricultural vehicles.
from some naturally
grown crop.
BRASS (alloy mixture) A metal made from Uses of brass: Brass has many uses e.g. wire, ammunition cartridge cases,
Cu + Zn atoms mixing copper and tubing, casting decorative objects or plaques.
zinc. Copper is quite
weak and zinc is
brittle, but the mixture
is quite strong and
hard wearing.
BROMINE Bromine is a dark red Uses of bromine: The element is not used directly but is converted into important
Br2 molecules low boiling point compounds. It is added to ethene to make (covalent) 1,2-dibromoethane which is
and compounds covalent liquid. It used in manufacturing anti-knocking agents in motor fuels. Other organo-bromine
forms both ionic and compounds are used as flame-retardants which inhibit combustion if materials
covalent compounds. catch fire, to make fumigants in pest control and disinfectants. Silver bromide
(ionic AgBr) is used in photography - the photographic film emulsion layer that
reacts to light.
BRONZE Alloy mixture of the Uses of bronze: This strong hard wearing easily cast metal is used for cog
metals copper and tin. wheels, ships propellers, statues, coins.
The tin hardens and
strengthens the
relatively weak
BUCKMINSTER See CARBON Uses of carbon: See CARBON See also Giant covalent structures and large
FULLERENES organic molecules
BUTANE (compound) A colourless pungent Uses of butane: Liquified under pressure and stored in thick steel fuel gas tanks
C4H10 molecules petrol like smelling e.g. calor/bottled gas.
hydrocarbon gas
belonging to the
homologous series of
covalent organic
molecules called
C uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
CADMIUM (element) CADMIUM is a white Uses of cadmium: Used in metal electroplating, alloyed with copper for tramway
Cd atoms lustrous metal, wires, some rechargeable batteries (NiCad cells). Cadmium compounds are used
and compounds moderately reactive to as pigments (cadmium sulphide CdS is yellow), plasticizers for plastics,
form salts with acids. phosphors in colour TV tubes.
CALCIUM (element) A hard grey-white Uses of calcium: Calcium is used to extract metals like thorium, vanadium and
Ca atoms lustrous meal. Very zirconium from there compounds by displacement reactions, a deoxidisers (e.g. it
reactive and rapidly can be added to a molten metal mixture to remove traces of oxygen and it is used
dissolves in most in alloys too. As its ion, Ca2+, it is an important dietary element for the body -
acids forming salts. calcium compounds are needed for the structure of bones and teeth.
Because its high
reactivity it will
displace many other
metals from their
CALCIUM An ionic white solid Uses of calcium carbonate : Uses of limestone: Used in the manufacture of iron &
CARBONATE (compoun compound. Occurs steel - slag removal, neutralise soil acidity, road making, stone block building
d) naturally as the material, making cement by roasting limestone with clay in a rotary kiln,
CaCO3, Ca2+CO32- sedimentary rock blackboard chalk, heated in a kiln to make calcium oxide (lime, quicklime used to
limestone, which is an control excess acidity of agricultural land). Marble is used for building stones,
important raw material flooring and statues, but much more expensive than limestone.
for both the
construction and
chemical industry. It is
insoluble in water but
dissolves in acids to
form salts. It also
occurs as the
metamorphic rock
marble which is much
harder and less prone
to weathering and can
be polished to fine
surface finish.
CALCIUM An ionic compound, a Uses of calcium hydroxide : Uses of slaked lime: When mixed with water it makes
HYDROXIDE (compound) white powder that is a white slurry used to 'whitewash' houses (quite an exothermic reaction). Use in
Ca(OH)2 slightly soluble in agriculture to control soil acidity. Sometimes called 'slaked lime' because it is
water to give an formed from calcium oxide ('lime') + water.
alkaline solution of
~pH 12. Its a base
and neutralises acids
forming calcium salts.
CALCIUM A white high melting Uses of calcium oxide : Uses of lime : Uses of quicklime: It is used in steel making
OXIDE (compound) ionic solid which is instead of limestone to remove the last silica and other mineral impurities as slag.
CaO, Ca2+O2- slightly soluble in It is known as lime/quicklime and is also used to control the acidity of soil when
water to give an the pH is too low for good crop/plant growth.
alkaline solution ~pH
12. It is a base and so
will neutralise acids to
form salts.
CALCIUM SULPHATE A white ionic Uses of calcium sulfate: Plaster of Paris is made from calcium sulfate and water.
CaSO4, Ca2+SO42- compound that is
slightly soluble in
CARBOHYDRATES (orga Small to huge Uses of carbohydrates: Sugars are used in food preparation as a sweetening
nic compounds) e.g. covalent molecules of agent and provider of energy (high on calories) and starches like cornflower are
sugars and starches. carbon, hydrogen and used as thickening agents. For more details see individual substances
oxygen. Most e.g. glucose and Starch.
naturally occurring
sugars contain 6 or 12
carbon atoms e.g.
C6H12O6 glucose/fruct
C12H22O11 sucrose
(C6H10O5)n starches
are natural polymers
where n is a very
large number of
repeating units.
CARBON (element) (i) Coal: Mainly Uses of carbon in its many forms:
C atoms carbon from plant (i) A high % of coal is carbon, an important fossil fuel. Anthracite is almost pure
Three allotropes, remains but contains carbon and cleaner burning. Uses of coke: An important industrial and domestic
graphite, diamond, small amounts of solid fuel. It is the reducing agent (O remover) in the blast furnace for the
fullerenes, all solids. minerals and organic conversion of iron oxides into iron and domestic fuel.
compounds. Coke is (ii) Graphite is Electrodes in aluminium manufacture by electrolysis of aluminium
made by roasting coal oxide. Finely powdered charcoal, mainly graphite, is used for decolourising
at a high temperature solutions and removing 'taste' and 'odours' in water purification and deodorising
which drives off e.g. shoes! Graphite is used in 'lead' pencils and in lubricants, contact brushes in
organic tar, ammonia electric motors/dynamos.
gas and water. (iii) Diamonds are used in cutting tools, jewellery - lustrous, usually colourless?,
(ii) Graphite: It has a but attractive sparkling effects in light.
porous structure so (iv) Buckminster Fullerenes 'bucky balls' can 'cage' other molecules and may be
readily absorbs gases used in drug delivery systems, sun creams. Carbon nanostructures: Nanotubes
and certain dissolved are used as semiconductors in the electronic industry (part of an electrical circuit),
compounds in sun creams, textiles, sports equipment e.g. reinforce graphite/carbon fibres in
solutions. Slippery tennis rackets (strong and light), single crystal nanowires for computer
black solid, high processors, mobile phone batteries, catalysts attached to nanotubes which have a
melting point, very large surface area (rates of reaction factor).
relatively good More details on giant covalent structures, allotropes of carbon and large organic
conductor of heat or molecules
electricity, doesn't
dissolve in anything.
Charcoal and coke
have very porous
graphitic structure.
(iii) Diamond: A very
hard and high melting
colourless (usually)
crystals. Refracts light
strongly to give vivid
'sparkling rainbow
colour' effects.
(iv) Buckminster
Fullerenes (bucky
balls) and carbon
Nanotubes are very
strong and conduct
Nanoparticles in
general have different
properties to the bulk
material and their
structures are
manufactured by
building them
or by 'stripping' a
material down to
nanoscale size and
CARBON DIOXIDE Small covalent Uses of carbon dioxide: Fire extinguishers, carbonated 'fizzy' drinks, dry ice (solid
(compound) molecule of carbon blocks at -78oC) to create smoke effects on stage.
CO2 molecules and oxygen.
Colourless, odourless
gas that doesn't
support combustion.
O=C=O is a slightly
acidic gas when
dissolved in water -
moderately soluble.
CARBON MONOXIDE Small covalent Uses of carbon monoxide: Formed from coke in the blast furnace and acts as a
(compound) molecule. Toxic reducing agent to free the iron from iron oxide ore. The excess can be burned as
CO molecules colourless odourless fuel. It is used in the synthesis of the alcohol methanol by combining it
gas. with hydrogen.
CO + 2H2 ==> CH3OH
CARBOXYLIC Covalent molecules Uses of carboxylic acids : Uses of fatty acids: Carboxylic acids have some direct
ACIDS (compounds, belonging to a uses but they are usually converted into a more useful chemical form e.g. they
'fatty acids') homologous series of combine with alcohols to form esters used in perfumes-fragrances and food
contains -COOH group organic molecules. flavourings.
The analgesic/pain killer aspirin is a carboxylic acid SeeGCSE Extra Organic
Chemistry Notes
CATALYSTS (elements, A huge variety of Examples of uses of catalysts: Iron, Fe atoms, catalyses the combination of
compounds or mixtures) substances and hydrogen and nitrogen to make ammonia. Vanadium pentoxide, V 2O5 ionic
structures which compound, is used in the conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphur trioxide in the
speed up chemical manufacture of sulphuric acid. All enzymes are protein molecules and they control
reactions. They are all the chemistry of living systems and are used for chemical synthesis in industry
obviously important e.g. the fermentation of sugar to alcohol.
from the chemical
economics of industry
to the functioning of
our bodies.
CAUSTIC SODA see SODIUM Uses of caustic soda: See SODIUM HYDROXIDE solution
CEMENT (mixture of Made by Uses of cement: ingredient in concrete, plaster (Portland cement) and
compounds) heating limestone and mortar.
clay at a high
temperature in a
rotary kiln. Chemically
it is a mixture of
calcium silicates and
CERAMICS (mixtures of They have giant Ceramics covers a wide range of materials such as pottery, glasses, cement,
compounds) covalent structure and concrete. Uses of ceramics: Pottery from pots to tiles, panes of glass, glass fibres,
are all high melting cement in concrete in the construction industry. Need to look up individual
point, low materials e.g.
conductivity i.e. good
CFCs CHLOROFLUORO CFC Uses of CFCs: Until recently they have been used extensively in refrigeration
CARBONS (compounds) chlorofluorocarbons - units, air conditioning units, bubbles in expanded plastics like polystyrene and
e.g. CCl3F, organic covalent insulating foams, the propellant gas in aerosols of deodorants, insecticides etc.
CCl2FCClF2 molecules in molecules made of a They are good solvents for dry cleaning and cleaning grease off electrical
which all the H atoms of combination of equipment, but because of ozone layer destruction they are being replaced
an alkane are replaced chlorine, fluorine and by HFCs and HCFCs.
with Cl or F atoms carbon atoms. They
are colourless gases
or low boiling point
liquids. They are
chemically quite
stable, non-toxic and
non-flammable i.e.
quite safe to use (or
so we thought!).
CHLORINE (element) Covalent diatomic Uses of chlorine: PVC plastic manufacture, water sterilisation, chlorinated
Cl2 molecules molecules. Green hydrocarbons (organo-chlorine compounds) are used as solvents, pesticides and
and many chlorine gas, highly toxic and disinfectants like TCP (trichlorophenol). It is combined with hydrogen to
compounds slightly soluble in make hydrogen chloride which is dissolved in water to manufacture hydrochloric
water to give a weakly acid. Chlorine is used in the manufacture of household bleach, industrial bleaches
acid and strongly for cotton, linen, wood pulp and domestic cleaners. Used in
oxidising/bleaching making CFCs and HCFCs.
solution. A very
reactive element,
readily combining with
many metals and non-
metals. Look up
individual compounds
like sodium chloride.
CHLOROETHENE Small covalent Uses of chloroethene: Polymerising to make poly(chloroethene) = PVC = polyvinyl
(compound) gaseous unsaturated chloride which is a very useful thermoplastic that is tough and a very good
C2H3Cl, CH2=CHCl hydrocarbon molecule electrical insulator.
known as an alkene
(C=C double bond).
Colourless gas that
can be polymerised to
poly(chloroethene) by
virtue of having a
double bond.
CITRIC ACID (organic A naturally occurring Uses of citric acid: Found in citrus fruits e.g. lemon juice. Used in sherbet powders
compound) organic molecule with sodium hydrogencarbonate to make fizzy drinks - they react together to form
Contains three acidic - classified as a carbon dioxide gas. Used in baking powders containing sodium
COOH carboxylic acid carboxylic acid. hydrogencarbonate - they also react together to form carbon dioxide gas which
functional groups produces the rising action in the bread dough or cake mix etc.
COKE See CARBON Uses of coke: See CARBON
COLOURINGS A huge variety of Examples of colourings: Tartrazine is used as an orange food colouring. Iron
compounds and materials, often oxide as haematite is a red-brown pigment (was used by prehistoric man!).
mixtures of all sorts of organic molecules, Synthetic colours are used to make textiles (clothing, curtains, carpets etc.) and
materials natural or manmade plastic materials more attractive. Transitional metal oxides are used to colour
to bring colour to ceramics from tiles to glass e.g. cobalt oxide to give the cobalt blue colour.
materials. See
also DYES.
COMPOSITE A wide variety of Examples of uses of composite materials: glass fibre in reinforced plastic (boats,
MATERIALS (mixtures) structures, but the car bodies), reinforced glass (windows), reinforced concrete with steel rods
idea is to combine (beams-bridges, buildings etc.), glass reinforced and bone, carbon
different materials fibres/nanotubes in sports equipment like clubs, racquets, bicycle frames and also
with different in protective equipment like body armour (strong and light).
characteristics to
produce a 'composite'
with the desired
properties for a
particular purpose.
Any component on its
own would not meet
the required
CONCRETE (mixture of Prepared by Uses of concrete: An important structural material for bridges and buildings etc.
compounds) mixing cement, sand, etc.
gravel and water. The
mixture becomes
hydrated and the
components bond
together to form a
hard tough material
we call concrete.
COPPER (element) Quite a strong Uses of copper: Copper wiring, alloyed with zinc to make brass, piping for
Cu atoms malleable metal with plumbing e.g. central heating systems, hot water cylinders. Used in coinage -
excellent thermal alloyed with nickel for coins,
(heat) and electrical
properties. Metal
structure & properties
notes and GCSE/IGC
SE notes on
Metals andAdvanced
Level 3d-block
Transition Metal
COPPER(II) SULPHATE An ionic compound of Uses of copper(II) sulfate: Copper sulphate solution is the electrolyte in the
(compound) copper(II) and sulfate purification of copper by electrolysis and in copper plating conducting objects (an
CuSO4 or ions. Anhydrous example of the technique known as electroplating - see GCSE notes on the
Cu2+SO42- copper sulphate is Extraction of Metals). Copper is a trace element in our/plants diet and copper
white, but you sulfate is a soluble means of delivering it. Used as a wood preservative.
normally encounter it Fungicide??
as the hydrated blue
crystals containing
water of crystallisation
of formula
CuSO4.5H2O which
readily dissolves in
water to give a blue
COSMETICS See Fragrances and Uses of cosmetics: See Fragrances and perfumes
COTTON A natural organic Uses of cotton: Textile industry for sheets and clothing etc.
polymer fibre.
CRUDE OIL See OIL Uses of crude oil: See OIL
D uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures

DDT DDT is a chlorinated Uses of DDT: Used as a powerful insecticide e.g. mosquito control in countries
aromatic organic where malaria is problem, but now banned in many countries because it builds up
compound that is in food chains and affects the life of animals at or near the top of a food chain
soluble in organic because it is stored in fatty tissues causing poisoning and genetic defects in
solvents but not offspring.
water. It is a harmful
chemical which
unfortunately is
chemically very stable
in the environment!
DETERGENTS (compoun Detergents are Uses of detergents: Detergents help remove dirt from the surface of materials in
ds) usually organic combination with water. They are described as surface active materials or
which are all surface molecules with both a surfactants. They help clean by lowering the surface tension of water so that it
active agents - so called hydrophilic ('water wets the surface more thoroughly, separating the grease and dirt from the surface
'surfactants' liking') and a and suspending the dirt in the water so it can be washed/rinsed away. There are
hydrophobic ('water two main types of detergent:
hating') molecular Soap detergents ('soapy soaps') are made from reacting animal fats or vegetable
groups. The oils with a strong base/alkali like sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.
hydrophilic group is a Soapless detergents ('detergents') are made from hydrocarbon molecules from oil
neutralised acidic which can be reacted with concentrated sulphuric acid to make sulfonic acids.
group and is the Washing powders or liquids are developed into complex formulations and may
smallest part of the contain detergents, sequestering/complexing agents to soften hard water,
molecule and strongly enzymes to break down protein food/blood stains, optical brighteners to give
interacts with water. fabrics a bright-white look, an oxygen bleach and finally a dash of perfume to give
The much longer the washed clothes a distinctive and attractive 'freshness'.
hydrocarbon chain (R
in formulae below)
interacts with water
insoluble materials
like fat/grease.
Examples: The
potassium salt of a
long chain carboxylic
'fatty' acid or the
sodium salt of a
sulphonic acid.
R-COO-Na+ or R-
DIAMOND See CARBON Uses of diamonds: CARBON
DISINFECTANTS (elemen Disinfectants are Uses of disinfectants: Chlorine/ozone used in water purification. Sodium
ts or compounds which chemicals like chlorate(I) is used in toilet cleaning/bleaching agents. Sprays of nano sized
act as sterilising agents) chlorine, ozone, particles of silver have powerful antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial action e.g.
sodium chlorate(I) to sterilise an operating theatre. Unlike antiseptics, disinfectants cannot be used
and are usually on the skin and any other living tissues because there chemical action is to strong
powerful oxidising for tissue you do not want to kill.
agents. Nano sized
particles of silver.
They kill micro-
organisms like
harmful bacteria.
DNA (compound) Long organic Uses of DNA: DNA is used forensic analysis to identify individuals at a crime
Deoxyribonucleic acid. molecules of scene from traces of body tissue or fluid material. The manipulation of DNA is
repeating units of a used in the very controversial subject of genetic engineering with its uses in
combination of base medicine for identifying and treating potential health problems and in agriculture
on a sugar-phosphate e.g. to develop GM crops resistant to pests.
backbone. Structurally
it is described as a
double helix of two
polynucleotide chains.
It carries the genetic
code for the whole
structure of an
organism from a
single self-
reproducing cell to the
most complex of
DRUGS and MEDICINES A drug is an externally A few of the thousands of uses of drugs and uses of medicines in the 21st
(inorganic, and often administered century: Analgesics medicines are painkillers and reduce pain e.g. aspirin,
organic compounds) The substance which ibuprofen, paracetamol, codeine. Powerful and dangerous pain killing drugs
'drug' is a specific modifies or affects include morphine and molecules derived from heroin. Antibiotics like penicillin are
molecule with a chemical reactions in responsible for saving millions of lives from various diseases by denaturing
particular the body. They may harmful bacteria cells. 'Milk of magnesia' to control excess stomach acidity
pharmacological action alter incoming causing indigestion 'heart burn'.
and a medicine is the sensory sensations, There are many types or classes of drugs e.g. drugs which act on the central
complete formulation of alter mood or nervous system e.g. analgesics, sedatives, tranquilisers, hypnotics,
the means of emotional state, alter antidepressants, narcotics, anaesthetics. Drugs which kill bacteria like antibiotics
administering the drug to physiological state, and sulfonamides (sulphonamides), anti-cancer drugs are used in chemotherapy
a patient i.e. the method alter state of ('chemo') like cis-platin, anti-viral drugs help fight HIV infections, cardiovascular
of delivery. consciousness, drugs to control blood pressure e.g. lower it, control or stimulate heart beat. Anti-
activity level or inflammatory drugs suppress the bodies immune system if it overacts to some
coordination. Most of perceived threat. Drugs used to help maintain a healthy digestion system e.g.
the medicines you antacids, laxatives and drugs to treat ulcers in the stomach and intestines. We
take e.g. aspirin and have a lot to thank chemistry for providing these treatments, there are always but
other analgesics as ever, with human ingenuity and application of scientific knowledge, there is
contain an active plenty of scope for self-abuse, excessive profiteering by multi-international drug
organic molecule. companies etc.
There are literally
thousands of drugs-
medicines on the
See GCSE notes on
Extra Organic
Chemistry for the
molecular structure of
some analgesics.
DYES - DYESTUFFS The original dyes Uses of dyes: Synthetic dyestuffs are used for dyeing fabrics and colouring
(compounds) came from plant or plastics. Apart from natural wood and stone (not stained/painted) just about
animal materials e.g. everything else around you in the home is coloured with something or other and
blue woad, orange- much of processed food too! - just check out the E numbers!
red alizarin and indigo
blue from plants and
red cochineal from
dried insects. These
days (in fact from the
late 19th century
onwards) most
dyestuffs are
synthesised organic
molecules like the azo
E uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
ELECTROLYTES Electrolytes are any Uses of electrolytes: Industrial uses include all electrolysis processes like
(compound or mixture) aqueous (water) aluminium extraction from molten aluminium oxide (purified bauxite ore), purifying
solution or molten copper using copper electrodes and copper(II) sulphate solution. Revision notes
material containing on the Extraction of MetalsElectrolytes are used in fuel cells, zinc-carbon batteries
ions which are free to (ionic ammonium chloride paste) and sulphuric acid is used in lead-acid batteries,
move and carry an so all battery/cell systems need an electrolyte. For living systems, healthy cell
electric current e.g. activity requires the presence of certain ions both inorganic and organic e.g. the
sodium chloride nervous system works via electrical impulses transmitted by the movement of
solution (Na+(aq) and ions, so sodium, chloride, potassium other ions are needed for this purpose in our
Cl-(aq) ions) or molten diet.
aluminium oxide
(Al3+ and O2- ions).
EMULSIFIERS (usually An emulsion is usually Uses of emulsifiers and emulsifying agents: Emulsion paints can be oil or water
mixtures of organic one liquid/solid based and the pigment dispersed in the mixture too. Lecithin, alginates and
compounds from natural dispersed (but NOT mustard, egg yolk etc. are used as emulsifying agents in foods. Salad dressings
or man-made sources) dissolved) in another (based on olive oil plus vinegar) and mayonnaise (stabilised with egg yolk) are
liquid (often water) emulsions but may need a good shake before use! Creamy foods, cosmetic
and an emulsifying foundation creams and brushless shaving creams are oil-in-water emulsions, cold
agent inhibits the creams and cleansing creams are water-in-oil emulsions and all of these need an
separation of the two emulsifier to stop the components of the mixture separating out.
main components.
Emulsifying agents
are surfactant
molecules having a
'water loving head'
part (hydrophilic) and
'water hating tail' part
(hydrophobic) groups
in the same molecule
i.e. they can interact
with different
immiscible liquids like
oil and water.
ENZYMES (very complex These are complex Uses of enzymes: Enzymes from yeast extract are used in the brewing industry to
compounds) protein molecules that convert sugars into ethanol, 'alcohol' for the drinks industry, or sugar cane into
Thousands of different function as highly ethanol for biofuels. Some washing powders contain proteases which are enzyme
organic compounds specific and that break down proteins such blood or egg yolk stains on clothes. Proteases
made of combinations of sophisticated break down proteins and are used to 'pre-digest' the protein in some baby foods.
C, H, O, N, often a metal chemical biological Carbohydrases are used to convert starch syrup into sugar syrup. Invertase is
atom like Fe, Cu or Mg catalysts, all extracted used to make the sugar for soft chocolates. Isomerase is used to convert glucose
etc. and usually over a plant or animal syrup into fructose syrup, which is much sweeter and therefore can be used in
1000 atoms in the sources. There are smaller quantities e.g. in slimming foods. Pectinase breaks down insoluble pectin
molecule. thousands of them polysaccharides and so is used in clarify fruit juices. Amylases break down
and essential to the carbohydrates and Lipases break down fats. Enzymes are used in genetic
life of every cell in engineering and penicillin production. The dairy industry uses enzymes made by
every organism as microorganisms (bacteria) to produce yoghurt and cheese from milk. The bacteria
they control most of enzymes convert the sugar in milk (lactose) into lactic acid. Some revision notes
the chemical on enzymes
reactions throughout
the structure of an
organism. Without
these catalyst the
chemistry of life would
be too slow to
continue! The names
of enzymes end in
...ase e.g. amylase,
protease, invertase,
isomerase etc.
EPOXY RESIN Polyethers (have a C- Uses of epoxy resins: They are used as adhesives, coatings and in composite
Organic compounds - O-C linkage) formed materials.
macromolecules or by condensing
polymers together e.g. 3-chloro-
('epichlorhydrin') with
polyols like bisphenol.
The polyethers need
a curing agent to
convert them to
resins. The resins are
thermosetting to
tough adhesive
materials which are
chemically resistant
and electrical
ESTERS Esters form a Uses of esters: Esters are found naturally in fruits (*) but they are now
organic compounds homologous series in synthetically manufactured on an industrial scale. They are used in the cosmetics
synthesised by reactions organic chemistry and industry e.g. perfumes-fragrances, enhancing the smell of household products,
such as: prepared by reaction 'air fresheners', food additives e.g. fruit flavourings. They are also useful organic
carboxylic acid + alcohol of a carboxylic acid solvents because they dissolve a wide range of compounds and they are used as
==> ester + water (or derivative) and an plasticisers to make polymers more 'plastic'. Some drugs like aspirin are esters
alcohol. and the insecticides malathion and pyrethrin are also esters.
R-COO-R' where R- = (*) Ethyl butanoate has the odour of pineapple and 3-methylbutylethanoate gives
H-, alkyl e.g. CH3-, pear drop sweets their taste and smell.
CH2CH3- or aryl e.g. Oils like olive oil, palm oil etc. are esters of an alcohol called glycerol.
C6H5- etc. -R' = alkyl When heated with sodium/potassium hydroxide they form salts. These are
e.g. CH3-, CH2CH3- or sodium/potassium salts of long chain fatty acids and are used as soaps.
aryl e.g. C6H5- etc.
Pleasant smelling,
often with a sweetish
odour, colourless
liquids and generally
harmless chemicals.
ETHANE (compound) A colourless Uses of ethane: It readily burns and so is used as a fuel gas. It can be cracked to
C2H6 or CH3CH3 hydrocarbon gas make the more useful ethene. It is used in very low temperature refrigeration units
belonging to the but is flammable/explosive with air.
homologous series of
covalent organic
molecules called
ETHANOIC Small covalent Uses of ethanoic acid (uses of 'acetic acid'): Old name acetic acid, used in the
ACID (compound) organic molecule, food industry and food preparation e.g. vinegar, pickling vegetables and eggs. It
CH3COOH strong smelling combines with alcohols to make ... ethanoate esters ('acetates') e.g. ethyl
colourless liquid when ethanoate. Ethanoate esters are used as solvents and in the perfumery-
pure. It belongs to the cosmetics/food industry as fragrances/flavourings. It can be converted to ethanoic
homologous series of anhydride which is used to manufacture cellulose ethanoate used for artificial
organic molecules fibres in the textile industry.
called carboxylic
ETHANOL (organic Small covalent Uses of ethanol ('ethyl alcohol'): Ethanol is used in alcoholic drinks and
compound) molecule, an organic beverages, a solvent, a fuel e.g. methylated spirits in a camping cooker and as a
CH3CH2OH compound of C, H biofuel from fermented sugar cane or sugar beet, the ethanol ('alcohol') is distilled
and O atoms off and it can be blended with petrol. Ethanol is used to manufacture ethyl ..
belonging to the esters used in the perfumery-cosmetics/food industry as fragrances/flavourings.
homologous series of Ethanol is the starting point for the manufacture of other organic chemicals e.g.
similar molecules oxidised to ethanal ('acetaldehyde') or ethanoic acid ('acetic acid') which in term
called alcohols. Highly are converted to other useful products.
toxic colourless liquid.
In aqueous solution,
the more
concentrated - the
more dangerous!
ETHENE (organic An unsaturated (C=C Uses of ethene: It doesn't really have any uses as ethene itself BUT it is as the
compound) bond) organic starting molecule in the manufacture of a wide range of products. It is readily
C2H4 or CH2=CH2 covalent molecule polymerised to make the plastic poly(ethene) - 'polythene'. It can be reacted with
belonging to the water to make ethanol,
homologous series of
hydrocarbons called
alkenes. Its a
colourless smelly gas.
F uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
FABRICS Fabric is a general Uses of fabrics: Clothing, textile and furniture industry.
(compounds/mixtures) term for materials
used in the clothing or
furniture industry
FATS (organic Saturated esters of Uses of fats: Hydrogenated fats like margarine used in the food industry and in
compounds) glycerol and long the home.
chain fatty/carboxylic
FERTILISERS See AMMONIA andP Uses of fertilisers: Added to land to promote plant growth and increase yields of
(compounds and HOSPHORUS crops etc. The three most important elements in the mixture of compounds of a
mixtures) Mixtures of fertiliser are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, so fertilisers are often classified
ammonium salts, by their N P K values.
nitrate salts,
potassium salts and
phosphate salts
FIBRE - dietary - large Dietary fibre is can be Uses of dietary fibre: Important component in a healthy diet and aid food digestion
organic molecules in defined as non-starch and the smooth functioning of the whole of the digestive track. They are found in
food of plant origin polysaccharides, plant materials from fruit, grains and vegetables etc. Fibre is added to many
though plant fibre can breakfast cereals and is automatically present in wholemeal bread.
be defined as food
components resisting
digestion in the small
intestine. Whatever,
they are large
naturally occurring
polymeric organic
molecules of C, H and
O atoms.
FIBRES - natural or man- Apart from carbon Uses of fibres: Wide range of materials, including composites, with a wide range
made material (not for fibres and glass of uses e.g. glass fibres in insulation and fibre optics, carbon fibre composites in
food!) fibres, they are sports equipment, Nylon and Terylene fibres in the clothing-textile industry.
usually long chain
organic polymer
molecules. Each fibre
is relatively high
tensile strength and
when produced is
thicker thread or a
bulk composite
format, you have a
strong and useful
FLAVOURINGS- Usually salt Uses of flavourings: To enhance the appeal of food. Monosodium glutamate is
FLAVOUR ENHANCERS (sodium/potassium added to a huge range of foods.
(compounds-mixtures) chloride, NaCl/KCl), See ESTERS for more examples.
organic molecules like
esters and other
from plant or animal
extracts which are
now widely
synthesised to 'mimic
FLUORINE (element) Fluorine forms ionic Uses of fluorine: Fluorine is too reactive and highly toxic for any direct uses so it is
F2 molecules, but only salts with metals e.g. used to manufacture other useful fluorine compounds e.g. it is used in
used in compound form potassium fluoride, making CFCs, HFCs and HCFCs for refrigeration units and the gas in aerosol
e.g. combined with KCl or K+F-, which is a sprays. CFCs are being replaced by HFCs because as upper atmosphere
metals as a fluoride salts high melting 'pollutant' they cause destruction of the uv protection ozone layer. Fluoride salts
or combined with non- colourless crystalline can be added to domestic water supplies i.e. tap water and toothpaste since it is
metals e.g. organic solid soluble in water. believed to improve dental health e.g. stronger enamel and less tooth decay - but
fluorine compounds. Fluorine, like chlorine, fluorides are potentially harmful and so the treatment is controversial.
can replace hydrogen
in alkanes to form
compounds. These
are covalent
molecules, low boiling
FOSSIL FUELS (mixture) See CARBON and OI Uses of fossil fuels: Coal, coke (made by heating coal), anthracite, lignite, peat
L and oil products are all burned to release heat energy.
FRAGRANCES - See ESTERS Uses of fragrances and perfumes: See ESTERS
Fullerenes See CARBON Uses of fullerenes: e.g. Buckminster Fullerenes seeCARBON
FUNGICIDES They can have a huge Uses of fungicides: Fungicides inhibit fungal growth which attacks wood or plastic
range of chemical surfaces etc.
structures but they
are often compounds
of sulphur, tin,
mercury, nickel and
G uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
GLASS is a fused Glass is a curious Uses of glass: Glass is extensively used for window panes, laboratory glassware,
mixture made from substance! decorative objects ('glass-china'). Glass fibres, thin filaments of glass, are
heating together sand, Technically it is a combined with resins to produce composite materials for 'fibre-glass' boat hulls
sodium carbonate and supercooled liquid and car bodies. Glass fibres are used in optical systems in medicine for internal
lime/limestone. The forming a transparent body examinations and decorative displays in the home. Soda glass is cheap but
proportions can be non-crystalline solid more expensive heat resistant glasses e.g. Pyrex are used for cooking bowls and
varied and metal and with a giant covalent laboratory apparatus.
non-metal oxides added structure. It is
to produce specialised relatively high melting
glasses. and a very poor
conductor of heat and
electricity i.e. a good
insulator. It is
chemically resistant to
chemical attack and is
effectively an
insoluble substance.
GLUCOSE (compound) A covalently bonded Uses of glucose: It is widely used in the confectionery and food industry e.g.
C6H12O6 molecules organic molecule and sweetener in food, chocolate etc. It can be fermented by yeast to make ethanol. It
a member of the is the sugar of the blood system and so is added to high energy drinks to provide
carbohydrate family of a rapid and easily digested source of energy.
GOLD (element) Gold has the typical Uses of gold: Gold bars are used in monetary systems, jewellery because of its
Au atoms and gold properties of a metal attractive untarnished look, an infra-red surface reflector, electrical contacts, tooth
salts/complex ion e.g. good electrical fillings. Its compounds are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
compounds. conductivity, high
melting point,
malleable etc., except
it is yellowish in colour
and apart from
copper, all the other
metals are white-
silver-silvery grey. It is
a very unreactive
GORETEX Goretex consists of Uses of GORETEX: Waterproof fabrics with breathability e.g. anoraks and other
Gore-Tex is a composite nylon laminated with a sports/outdoor activities gear. The holes in the PTFE/polyurethane membrane are
mixture of several poly(tetrafluoroethene too small to let liquid water through but big enough for the vapour of individual
compounds )/PTFE or water molecules to pass through ('breathable'). A PTFE/polyurethane laminate is
polyurethane not strong enough on its own so it needs the nylon base too.
membrane. So it is a
composite mixture of
GRANITE An igneous rock Uses of granite: A fine and expensive building stone which is highly resistant to
consisting of a weathering - unlike limestone!
mixture of silica based
minerals formed from
the slow cooling of
magma/lava in the
earth's crust.
GRAPHITE see CARBON Uses of graphite: see CARBON
H uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
HAEMATITE See IRON OXIDES Uses of haematite: A principal ore for the extraction of iron.
HALOGENS (elements) Group 7 elements of Uses of halogens: Best to look up individual elements and their compounds
e.g. Cl2, Br2, I2 molecules the periodic e.g. fluorine compounds, chlorine, sodium chloride and iodine,
table. Group 7 The
Halogens GCSE
Revision Notes
HCFCsHYDROCHLOROF HCFC Uses of HCFCs and uses of HFCs: Until recently they have been used
LUOROCARBONS and Hydrochlorofluorocarb extensively in refrigeration units, air conditioning units, bubbles in expanded
HYDROFLUOROCARBO ons (combination of plastics like polystyrene and insulating foams, the propellant gas in aerosols of
NS HFCs (compounds) H, Cl, F and C atoms) deodorants, insecticides etc. They are good solvents for dry cleaning and
e.g. CH3CCl2F and and HFC cleaning grease off electrical equipment, but because of ozone layer destruction
CH2FCF3 hydrofluorocarbons they are the use of CFCs.
(combination of H, F
and C atoms). These
are organic
compounds produced
from alkanes by
replacing some of the
hydrogen atoms with
chlorine or fluorine
HELIUM (element) Colourless chemically Uses of helium: Balloons (much safer than explosive hydrogen), oxygen-helium
He atoms unreactive gas ('inert') breathing mixtures for divers.
belong to the 'Noble
Gases' Group 0 of the
Periodic Table. Its
density is much less
than air.
HERBICIDES They have a range of Uses of herbicides: Herbicides are basically weedkillers or growth regulators and
(compounds acting as chemical structures, are usually selective in their effect on plants.
weed killers) though most are
synthetic organic
HYDROCARBONS Covalent molecule Uses of hydrocarbons: Alkanes are used as fuels but they, along with alkenes and
(compounds) organic compounds aromatics form the starter molecules to make a wide range of useful products, so
CxHy, huge range of the made up of need to look up individual compounds
values of x and y e.g. combinations of like methane, ethene, propane or butane and the homologous series
butane C4H10, ethene carbon and hydrogen. of alkanes or alkenes to which they belong.
C2H4, benzene C6H6 etc. They form several
homologous series
e.g. the saturated
alkanes like butane,
unsaturated alkenes
like ethene and
aromatic compounds
based on benzene.
HYDROCHLORIC A strong mineral acid Uses of hydrochloric acid: Widely used in the chemical industry. Reacts with
ACID (compound) solution of hydrogen bases to form chloride salts. Its a catalyst for hydrolysing sugar cane to
HCl(aq) aqueous solution ions, H+ or H3O+ and glucose.
chloride ions, Cl-. It is
manufactured by
dissolving the
gas hydrogen
chloride in water.
HYDROGEN (element) Colourless gas, very Uses of hydrogen: rocket fuel (mixed with an oxidant - oxygen supplier),
H2 molecules flammable and meteorological balloons (cheaper than helium), potential to be a clean fuel if it can
explosive if ignited in be economically produced on a large scale - on combustion just burns to form
air. 'non-polluting' water only, fuel cells, hydrogenation of unsaturated vegetable oils
to make 'solid' margarine. Combined with chlorine to form hydrogen chloride
which is dissolved in water to make hydrochloric acid.
HYDROGEN CHLORIDE Colourless, Uses of hydrogen chloride: It is dissolved in water to make hydrochloric acid and
HCl molecules choking, acidic is used in the manufacture of organo-chlorine compounds.
corrosive gas.
I uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
IODINE (element) IODINE is a diatomic Uses of iodine: Iodine solution is an antiseptic to sterilise wounds ('tincture of
I2 molecules and ionic covalent molecule. It iodine'), silver iodide (AgI) is used in photography in the 'old fashioned' light
compounds is an almost black sensitive emulsion film format.
solid that readily
sublimes on gentle
heating to give a
brilliant purple vapour.
It is virtually insoluble
in water but does
dissolve in ethanol
(alcohol) and
potassium iodide
ION EXCHANGE Ion exchange Uses of ion exchange resins which are held in a column and the aqueous solution
RESINS/MINERALS - materials can be passed through: They can soften water by removing calcium and magnesium ions
usually complex naturally occurring from the water so a scum does not form with soap. Using a mixture of a cationic
naturally occurring minerals or synthetic and anionic ion exchange materials you can deionise water to make pure water
minerals or synthetic polymers. Within their (well at least remove all ions, any non-ionic impurity molecules will not be
polymers. structure they have removed). Examples off ion exchangers include naturally occurring zeolite
either, immobile minerals and permutit is synthetic zeolite used to soften water by exchanging
positive cationic sodium ions on the permutit for calcium ions from the tap water (sodium ions do
groups that can
weakly hold onto not form a scum with soap). Some washing powders contain permutit
negative anions from powder.
a surrounding
solution, or, immobile
negative anionic
groups that can
weakly hold onto
positive cations from
a surrounding solution
(usually aqueous
media). In the process
of adsorption on the
material, one ion is
exchanged for
IRON (element) Iron is a typical metal, Uses of iron and uses of steel alloys: Iron is made into the alloy steel by mixing it
Fe atoms and STEEL high melting, strong with carbon and other metals like nickel, chromium etc. It can be used directly for
ALLOYS - mixture of Fe and malleable cast iron objects. Iron and steel have a huge range of uses e.g. car bodies,
atoms plus carbon and (particularly when cookers, nails, iron catalyst ammonia manufacture, cast iron gates, important
other metals and non- alloyed with other element for living systems e.g. iron ions in haemoglobin molecules in red blood
metals elements) and a good cells for respiration. Mild steel - car bodies, machinery. Stainless steel (alloy with
conductor of chromium) - cutlery, surgical instruments, chemical plant reactor vessels.
heat. Metal structure
& properties
notes and GCSE/IGC
SE notes on
Metals and Advanced
Level 3d-block
Transition Metal
IRON Found naturally as Uses of iron oxides: Both haematite and magnetite are important mineral ores
OXIDES (compounds) Fe2O3 iron(III) oxide, used as source for extracting iron.Revision notes on the Extraction of Metals
haematite ore and
Fe3O4magnetite ore.
J uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
K uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
KEVLAR Kevlar is a very Uses of Kevlar: Bullet proof vests form a strong protective layer. Bicycle tyre
strong, flexible and composites containing Kevlar are less likely to puncture. Kevlar 'rope' is much
fire resistant polymer. stronger than the equivalent weight of steel so it can be used to reinforce car tyres
It is a aromatic instead of steel wire.
polyamide and the
rigid linear polymer
chains line up to form
strong 2D sheets
which strongly adhere
to each other at the
molecular level. It is
much less dense than
metals so has a much
higher strength/weight
ratio compared to e.g.
L uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
LEAD (element) LEAD is very Uses of lead: Lead roofing, electrodes in lead-acid batteries, the alloy solder used
Pb atoms malleable and for making electrical connections in circuits. Lead compounds are used as 'ant-
and lead compounds relatively unreactive knock' agents in petrol (being reduced as leaded petrol replaced by less polluting
metal, typical metallic unleaded petrol), red lead is used in
properties, though too
soft for most structural
LEATHER Tough hard wearing Uses of leather: Clothing and furniture industry competing with
fabric material made cheaper PVC 'artificial leather' materials.
from cows skin.
M uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
MAGNESIUM (element) Magnesium is a Uses of magnesium: Low density ('light') high strength aluminium alloys for
Mg atoms metallic element with aircraft parts. Its capacity to burn brightly sees its use in distress flares and
all the typical fireworks - burns with intense bright white flame. Being so reactive, it is used to
properties of a metal extract other (but less) reactive metals from their ores in an exothermic
but quite a low displacement reaction. Its higher than iron reactivity allows it to be used as a
density. However, it is sacrificial anode electrode to protect e.g. steel pipes underground or ships hulls
quite reactive, so it is from rusting, i.e. it stops iron corroding.
no good on its for
MAGNESIUM Ionic compound of the Uses of magnesium hydroxide: Purchased for the home as the ant-acid mixture
HYDROXIDE (compound) magnesium and 'Milk of Magnesium' to neutralise excess stomach acid, a cause of indigestion.
Mg(OH)2 hydroxide ions. A
white powder, slightly
soluble in water to
give a mild alkaline
solution and
neutralises acids.
MEDICINES See DRUGS and Uses of medicines: See DRUGS and MEDICINES
MELAMINE and Melamine is an Uses of melamine resins: Malamine resins are used for hard wearing table tops,
MELAMINE- organic colourless plastic plates, composite worktops, ...
FORMALDEHYDE solid, melting point
RESINS (compounds) 354oC. When
polymerised with
('formaldehyde') and
other substances it
forms thermosetting
resins which are very
stable to heat and
MERCURY (element) Relatively low Uses of mercury: Older thermometers used mercury in the capillary tube, but
Hg atoms melting/boiling (for a mercury thermometers are being replaced by electronic devices or cheaper safer
and compounds metal) silvery liquid at ethanol ('alcohol') filled thermometers. Mercury vapour is used in some types of
room temperature and fluorescent lamps. Mercury is a component in amalgam for 'teeth filling' in
an excellent dentistry. Mercury compounds are used as fungicides e.g. in seed dressing to
conductor of prevent mould growth. Some types of batteries contain mercury compounds
electricity and heat. It causing a recycling headache. Other mercury compounds are used as pesticides.
is a poisonous metal
and mercury
compounds are
potentially toxic and
cause great harm to
the central nervous
system. These toxins
also build up in
animals higher up a
food chain.
METALS (elements or Usually high tensile Uses of metals: Best to look up individual metals
alloy mixtures) strength, good e.g. aluminium, brass, bronze, cadmium, copper, gold, iron, lead, mercury, nickel,
thermal conductivity, platinum, silver, solder, steel, tin, titanium, vanadium, zinc
hard-tough, yet
flexible too, some
excellent electrical
METHANE (compound) A colourless pungent Uses of methane: Natural gas consists of a high % of methane and it is also
CH4 molecules petrol like smelling obtained in the refining of crude oil. It is used as a fuel ('natural gas') and is
hydrocarbon gas reacted with chlorine to make chloromethanes. It is a source of hydrogen for the
belonging to the synthesis of ammonia.
homologous series of
organic covalent
molecules called
METHANOL (compound) Small covalent Uses of methanol ('methyl alcohol'): It can be oxidised to
CH3OH molecule, an organic methanal ('formaldehyde') which is used to make thermosetting polymers like
compound of C, H melamine resins. It is a useful solvent for both inorganic and organic compounds.
and O atoms
belonging to the
homologous series of
alcohols. Colourless
toxic liquid that
causes blindness.
MINERALS - all sorts of The word 'minerals' Uses of minerals: Need to look up individual materials.
naturally occurring might mean rocks,
materials metal ores etc. or
essential components
in a healthy diet like
calcium and iron
N uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
NANO PARTICLES, Nanoparticles in Uses of nano particles and uses of nanocomposites: Nano-sized particles of silver
NANOCOMPOSITES general have different used in sterilising sprays and wound dressing. Nanoparticles used ins
Structures 1-200 nm size. properties to the bulk sunscreens.
material and their For carbon nanotubes see CARBON
structures are
manufactured by
building them
or by 'stripping' a
material down to
nanoscale size and
NATURAL GAS See METHANE Uses of natural gas: See METHANE
NEON (element) Colourless chemically Uses of neon: Used in fluorescent tubes - red neon lights, gas lasers.
Ne atoms unreactive gas ('inert')
belong to the 'Noble
Gases' Group 0 of the
Periodic Table.
NICKEL (element) A typical transition Uses of nickel: Nickel metal is a catalyst for the hydrogenation of alkenes
Ni atoms metal, high density, i.e. unsaturated to saturated fats in margarine manufacture. Catalyst in
high melting/boiling catalytic converter in vehicle exhausts. A component of many alloys e.g. coinage
point, high tensile metals, steels, ... Batteries - NiCad Cells. The ferromagnetic alloy Alnico in
strength and good permanent magnets.
conductor of heat and
electricity. See
also Metal structure &
notes and GCSE/IGC
SE notes on
Transition Metals
NITINOL/NiTi (mixture) A shape memory alloy Uses of nitinol: They are used as thermostats in electric kettles, coffee pots etc.,
mixture of the superelastic spectacle frames, stents for veins, ...
transition metals
nickel and titanium. If
deformed an object
made of nitinol
regains its shape on
heating or release
from a physically
stressed situation.
NITRIC ACID, NITRATES Nitric acid (HNO3) is Uses of nitric acid - uses of nitrates: Making 'artificial' nitrate fertilisers
and NITRO... usually in aqueous e.g. ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate. Explosives like nitroglycerine which
(compounds) solution form and is in gelagnite/dynamite is manufactured by reacting glycerol with concentrated
HNO3 in aqueous contain hydrogen nitric acid. Nitro-organic compounds are important intermediates in the
solution ions, H+, and nitrate manufacture of synthetic dyestuffs. GCSE notes on Ammonia and Nitric Acid
Nitrate salts (ionic) and ions, NO3-. It reacts
also nitro-organic with bases/alkalis to
covalent compounds form nitrate salts (e.g.
potassium nitrate,
KNO3). Concentrated
nitric acid reacts with
organic compounds
e.g. benzene forms
NITROGEN (element) Colourless, relatively Uses of nitrogen: Obtained from air. Used to synthesise ammonia by combining
N2 molecules unreactive gas BUT with hydrogen. Liquid nitrogen is a VERY low temperature coolant (-196oC !). It is
NOT inert. used in food packaging to inhibit oxidation of food, it replaces air as oxygen will
e.g. oxidise fats and make them rancid
NOBLE GASES Group 0 of the Uses of noble gases: Look up individual gases: helium,neon and argon.
He, Ne, Ar etc. atoms Periodic Table. All
colourless, odourless
and chemically VERY
unreactive gases.
NYLON Nylon is a polyamide Uses of nylon: An important synthetic fibre for the textile industry - clothing,
class of synthetic curtain materials, parachutes, sleeping bags. The fibres are strong are used for
fibres and fishing lines and climbing ropes. Its tough enough, i.e. hard wearing enough to be
thermosoftening used for engineering components.
plastics. It is made by
a condensation
reaction between
aliphatic diamines and
aliphatic dicarboxylic
acids. When
processed into fibres
the molecules neatly
line up giving strong
intermolecular forces
(hydrogen bonding)
giving a light material
of high tensile
O uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
OIL - crude petroleum oil OIL is a thick yellow- Uses of oil: Huge range of uses as fuels for different purposes e.g. methane
- mixture of hydrocarbon brown sticky liquid. ('natural gas'), propane, butane, LPG, petrol, diesel, paraffin, candle wax (also
molecules The viscous liquid can used as water-proofing material, bitumen - road surfacing and waterproofing
be fractionally distilled material. Some fractions can be 'cracked' to make alkenes which can be made
into various fractions.
See into polymers and alcohols etc. Best to consult GCSE notes on Oil and its useful
also VEGETABLE products for more details.
ORGANIC ACIDS See CARBOXYLIC Uses of organic acids:
OXYGEN (element) Uses of oxygen: Oxygen cylinders in hospital to aid patient respiration. The
O2 molecules oxidant for welding using ethyne (acetylene) fuel and the oxidant for the fuel of
rocket engines. Used in steel making to burn off impurities. Used in the oxidation
of ammonia to nitric acid.
P uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
PERFUMES - See ESTERS Uses of perfumes/fragrances: See ESTERS
PESTICIDES - They can have a huge Uses of pesticides: Insecticides are designed to kill insects by poisoning e.g. on
INSECTICIDES range of chemical plant protection or an insect repellent agent e.g. on holiday with the 'midges'!
structures, some are
natural products, but
most are synthetic
organic molecules.
PETROLEUM OIL See OIL Uses of petroleum oil:
PHOSPHORUS (element) Phosphorus is a non- Uses of phosphorus: Phosphorus compounds are used in matches. Phosphate
PHOSPHORIC(V) ACID metallic low melting compounds are used in fertiliser salts, e.g. ammonium phosphate and potassium
and PHOSPHATES solid element and with phosphate by neutralising phosphoric acid with bases-alkalis. Phosphates are
(compounds) only a few uses as the used as flameproofing agents. Other phosphorus compounds are used in
P atoms and compounds element, but it is pesticides, special glass and china ware, alloys such as steels and phosphor
like the phosphorus widely encountered in bronze, detergents.
oxyacids and their salts one of its many
important compounds
such as phosphate
salts. Phosphoric(V)
acid (H3PO4) forms
phosphate salts with
bases/alkalis e.g.
dihydrogen potassium
phosphate KH2PO4.
PHOTOCHROMICS - Photochromic/photoc Uses of photochromics: Photochromic pigments are used in transitions
PHOTOCHROMIC hromatic compounds eyeglasses e.g. sunglasses that increasingly darken with increasing sunlight
PAINTS and change colour on intensity, so reducing sunlight glare. Photochromic paints are used in several
PHOTOCHROMIC exposure to uv light, novelty applications e.g. on toys, cosmetics and T-shirts where the most colourful
PIGMENTS (compounds) usually from sunlight. of patterns show up more clearly the brighter the sunlight.
See The molecules
also THERMOCHROMICS change structure on
absorption of uv
photons ('packets of
light energy') and the
different molecular
structures create
different colours. This
behaviour is
PLASTICS - Look up individual Uses of plastics: Look up individual plastic or polymer by name
See POLYMERS plastic or polymer by e.g. poly...., PVC, Nylon etc.
PLASTICISERS A high boiling organic Uses of plasticizers: Plasticisers are added to thermosoftening plastics to make
(compounds) liquid. them more 'plastic' or pliable e.g. PVC covering of electric cables. They also make
plasticizer compounds the plastic more 'workable' i.e. to mould or extrude into a particular shape.
PLATINUM (element) A typical transition Uses of platinum: Jewellery. Catalyst in catalytic converter in vehicle exhausts
Pt atoms metal and a very (platinum-rhodium alloy).
and compounds unreactive element Cis-platin (cisplatin) [PtCl2(NH3)2 and similar compounds using organic bidentate
i.e. doesn't corrode ligands are anti-cancer (anticancer) drugs used in chemotherapy.
easily but it, and its
compounds, have
powerful catalytic
POLYAMIDES See NYLON and PRO Uses of polyamides:
POLY(CHLOROETHENE) Made from Uses of poly(chloroethene)/polychloroethene: Plasticized PVC is used for
compound polymerising artificial/fake leather fabrics for the clothing and furniture industry e.g. hand bags,
polyvinyl chloride (PVC, chloroethene ('vinyl sports bags, sofa coverings etc. It is used for the cable sheathing covering
PVCu = uPVC = PVC-U) chloride'). A strong electrical wire which needs to be a bit flexible. Unplasticised PVC, which is
-(CHCl-CH2)n- where n = tough hard wearing harder and tougher is used electrical fittings like plugs and sockets, window
is big i.e. >1000 thermosoftening frames, guttering, drain pipes, door handles etc. It has the advantage of not
plastic material with rotting, weather resistant, hard wearing and keeps its shape through
excellent electrical daily/seasonal temperature changes.
insulation properties.
PVC contains a
plasticiser to make it
more flexible. PVCu
does not contain a
plasticiser i.e. an
unplasticised plastic
but, like PVC, it still
contains stabilisers
and other additives.
POLYESTERS (compoun Polyesters are Uses of polyesters: Terylene is used in the textile industry for clothing, curtain
d) polymers made by materials, fishing lines, parachutes, sleeping bags and as Lycra for sports
condensing together a clothing. It is also manufactured as film form for ...
diol and a dicarboxylic
acid. They are usually
manufactured as
fibres e.g. Terylene
(commercial name).
The most common
one was called
terephthalate, known
in the business as
POLY(ETHENE) (compou Organic polymer- Uses of poly(ethene): It is a cheap but very useful plastic used for plastic bags,
nd) plastic made from buckets, bowls, clingfilm and bottles. Its old or commercial names include
'polythene', -(CH2-CH2)n- polymerising ethene. polyethylene, polythene and polyethene. Tiny cellulose particles are used as a
where n = is big i.e. These long organic filler in polythene to make biodegradable bags.
>1000 molecule is a white
'waxy' solid with a low
density, flexible, low
thermal and electrical
(insulators) and cheap
to manufacture.
POLYMER GELS e.g. hydrogel Uses of polymer gels: Hydrogels have the potential to be used as artificial
materials have a muscles, robot actuators, absorbers of toxic chemicals.
cross-linked polymer
structure which is
inflated in contact with
a solvent. They can
swell and shrink by a
factor of up to a 1000
times in volume due
to changes in
temperature or pH.
POLYMERS - PLASTICS Long organic Uses of polymers: Huge variety of polymers and uses, so best to look up
molecules usually individual plastic or polymer by name e.g. poly...., PVC, Nylon etc.
with low density,
flexible, low thermal
and electrical
(insulators), but quite
a range of properties
and uses these days.
They are made by
polymerising small
molecules called
monomers into long
chain molecules
called polymers.
POLY(METHYL PMMA See ACRYLIC Uses of poly(methyl methylacrylate)/PMMA: SeeACRYLIC MATERIALS
POLY(PHENYLETHENE) See POLYSTYRENE Uses of poly(phenylethene)
POLY(PROPENE) (comp Organic polymer- Uses of poly(propene): It is stronger and more hard wearing than poly(ethene)
ound) plastic made from and is used for making crates, fibres and ropes (old or commercial names:
polymerising the polypropylene, polyprene and polypropene).
'polypropene', -[CH2- monomer propene.
CH(CH3]n- where n = is These long organic
big i.e. >1000 molecule is a white
'waxy' solid with a low
density, flexible, low
thermal and electrical
(insulators) and cheap
to manufacture.
POLYSTYRENE This polymer-plastic is Uses of polystyrene: In expanded form (bubble filled) damage protection material
correct systematic name made by polymerising used in packaging products, heat insulation material, toys and models.
poly(phenylethene) the monomer
-[CH2-CH(C6H5]n- where n phenylethene (old
= is big i.e. >1000 name styrene).
POLY(TETRAFLUOROET This polymer-plastic is Uses of poly(tetrafluoroethene)/uses of PTFE:Teflon/Fluon coating for non-stick
HENE) made by polymerising pans. Electrical fittings.
PTFE, -(CF2-CF2)n- where the monomer
n = is big i.e. >1000 tetrafluoroethene. It is
a very tough hard
Commercial names
include PTFE, Teflon
and Fluon. It has a
high softening point
~320oC, excellent
chemical resistance,
low coefficient of
friction and good
electrical insulating
POLYTHENE see POLY(ETHENE) Uses of polythene: see POLY(ETHENE)
POLYURETHANE Polyurethanes are Uses of polyurethane: Mainly used in foam form e.g. cushion fillers, thermal
condensation insulation, ...
polymers made from
compounds and
polyurethane means it
is had an inert gas
blown in it on
formation to make
polyurethane foam.
PRESERVATIVES food. A variety of Uses of preservatives: They are used to inhibit the decline in quality of
chemicals are used stored-packaged processed food.
e.g. ethanoic acid
(vinegar), SO2?,
benzoic acid
PROPANE (compound) A colourless pungent Uses of propane: Bottled fuel gas, liquefies under the high pressure inside the
C3H8 molecules petrol like smelling steel cylinder (red-orange cylinders in the UK).
hydrocarbon gas
belonging to the
homologous series of
covalent organic
molecules called
PROPENE (compound) An unsaturated (C=C Uses of propene: To make the plastic-polymer poly(propene).
C3H6, bond) organic
CH3CH=CH2 molecules covalent molecule
belonging to the
homologous series of
hydrocarbons called
alkenes. Its a
colourless smelly gas.
PROTEINS Polyamides/polypepti Uses of proteins: Basic food ingredient for supplying amino acids (after digestion)
See des are natural for the building of all body tissues and all enzymes are also protein - those
also ENZYMES and SILK polymers formed by essential catalysts that control so much of a living organisms chemistry.
the polymerising of
amino acids to give a
Q uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
R uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
RARE EARTH METALS All have classical Examples of Rare Earth metal symbols, names and examples of uses of the
metallic lattice metal or one of its compounds: La, Lanthanum: High refractive index glass e.g.
structures and the camera lens Ce, Cerium: Chemical oxidising agent, polishing powder, yellow
most commonly used colors in glass and ceramics, catalyst for self-cleaning oven Pr, Praseodymium:
compounds are their Rare-earth magnets, lasers, green colours in glass and ceramics Nd,
oxides. Rare Earths Neodymium: Rare-earth magnets, laser, violet colors in glass and ceramics,
are incredibly ceramic capacitor Sm, Samarium: Rare-earth magnets, lasers Eu, Europium: Red
important in modern and blue phosphors, lasers Gd, Gadolinium: Rare-earth magnets, high refractive
society as the metals index glass or garnets, lasers, x-ray tube, computer memory chips Tb, Terbium:
themselves, or one of Green phosphors, lasers, fluorescent lamps Dy, Dysprosium: Rare-earth
their compounds, is magnets, lasers Ho, Holmium: Lasers Yb, Ytterbium: Infrared lasers, chemical
used in many reducing agent, high-temperature superconductors
machines, devices,
consumer goods etc. -
especially if any
device or machine
contains an
electromagnet. There
is concern that the
mineral ore resources
for these 'rare metals'
are quite limited and
mainly in China? They
could become in short
supply giving
countries with these
resources quite some
economic power! and
those countries using
them (every country!)
a potential economic
consumer problem!
S uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
SALT (common salt) See SODIUM Uses of salt: 'Common salt': See SODIUM CHLORIDE
SALTS Ionic compounds Uses of salts: Need to look up individual salt by name.
usually prepared by
neutralising an acid
with a metal, oxide,
hydroxide or
SAND Fine grains of mineral Uses of sand: Ingredient in concrete and mortar. Children's play.
granules from
weathered rocks
including sandstone
or granite. Chemically
it is mainly silicon
dioxide (silica,
SANDSTONE Sedimentary rock. Uses of sandstone: A common building stone.
SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY Shape memory alloys Uses of shape memory alloys: They are used as thermostats in electric kettles,
like NiTi or nitinol, (an coffeepots etc., superelastic spectacle frames, stents for veins, ...
alloy of the metals
nickel and titanium),
have the ability to
regain their original
shape when heated.
SHAPE MEMORY A modern plastic Uses of shape memory polymers: In the future uses may include biodegradable
POLYMER material, which when surgical sutures that will automatically tighten to the correct tension, self-repairing
distorted in some car bodies that will recover their desired stylish shape on gentle heating after a
way, regains its shape knock-bump causes a dent.
on heating.
SILICON DIOXIDE sand quartz Uses of silicon dioxide: found as quartz in granite
SILK Silk is naturally Uses of silk: Expensive clothing.
occurring protein fibre
(polyamide) made
from the cocoons of
the silk moth. The
plastic Nylon was
developed as
synthetic alternative
to silk
SILVER (element) Silvery solid with Uses of silver: Jewellery because it doesn't corrode easily and attractive metallic
Ag atoms typical metallic lustre. Silver plating. Nano-sized particles (1-100nm) of silver have anti-bacterial,
and compounds properties. Doesn't antiviral and antifungal properties used in sterilising sprays to clean operating
corrode easily and theatres in hospitals and to coat the inner surfaces of refrigerators. Silver chloride
malleable. (AgCl) is used in photography.
SLATE Naturally Uses of slate: Slates are a very durable roofing material, only weathers very
metamorphic rock slowly.
formed from
compressed shales
and giving a hard rock
readily cleaved into
thin slabs - slates!
SMART MATERIALS A range of modern Uses of smart materials: e.g. the material responds to changes in temperature,
e.g. smart alloys materials whose light intensity or pH etc. Need to look up individual materials. Smart alloys return
properties change to their original shape on gentle heating after being stressed into a different
with a change in the shape.
SODIUM (element) An unusually soft and Uses of sodium: Liquid sodium has been used as a heat transfer agent e.g. in a
Na atoms low melting metal but nuclear reactor. Sodium is a powerful reducing agent and is used in organic
an excellent synthesis and extracting less reactive metals from their oxides via displacement
conductor of heat. reactions. There are few uses for the element itself BUT lots of important sodium
compounds, some of which are listed below.
SODIUM Ionic compound of Uses of sodium carbonate: Used in the manufacture of glass, soap, detergents
CARBONATE (compoun sodium and carbonate and paper. It can be used to soften water because the carbonate ion combines
d) ions, a white powder with the calcium ion (causing hardness - forms scum with soaps) precipitating it
Na2CO3 or (Na+)2CO32- when anhydrous, out as insoluble calcium carbonate. Its usually purchased as hydrated sodium
soluble in water to carbonate, commercially called 'washing soda' which has the formula
give a moderately Na2CO3.10H2O
alkaline solution ~pH
SODIUM Ionic compound of Uses of sodium chloride: De-icing roads, common table salt for cooking/flavouring
CHLORIDE (compound) sodium and chloride food, preservative. It forms the basis of what is called the Chlor-Alkali Industry
NaCl or Na+Cl- ions. High melting, since it is the raw material for the extraction-manufacture of the elements sodium,
hard, brittle colourless chlorine and hydrogen and from these you can further manufacture hydrochloric
crystals. Found acid, sodium hydroxide, bleaches, ..
naturally as rock salt.
SODIUM Ionic compound made Uses of sodium hydrogencarbonate : uses of 'sodium bicarbonate': Used in
HYDROGENCARBONAT up of sodium and 'baking soda' as a cooking agent to bring about the 'rising action' - it readily
E hydrogencarbonate decomposes on heating to release carbon dioxide gas. An important ingredient in
'sodium bicarbonate' ions. White powder, antacid indigestion tablets to neutralise excess hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
compound NaHCO3 slightly soluble in Used in sherbet powders with citric acid to make fizzy drinks - they react together
water to give a very to form carbon dioxide gas. Used in baking powders containing citric acid or
mildly alkaline tartaric acid, they react together to form carbon dioxide gas which produces the
solution ~pH 8 i.e. a rising action in the bread dough or cake mix etc.
weak base.
SODIUM HYDROXIDE Ionic compound of Uses of sodium hydroxide: Sodium hydroxide solution is known as CAUSTIC
the compound NaOH sodium and hydroxide SODA and is used in manufacture of oven cleaners and drain cleaners,
ion. White solid, very detergents, soaps, fibres, ...
soluble in water to Making sodium salts from acids including soluble aspirin since aspirin is an
give a strongly insoluble organic acid.
alkaline solution, once
known as 'caustic
soda' because of its
highly corrosive
nature - particularly to
the skin!
SOLDER Alloy mixture of lead Uses of solder: Electrical connections on circuit board.
and tin.
STARCH (compound) Starch is a natural Uses of starch: Thickener in cooking, adhesive for paper and cloth, an inert
(C6H10O5)n n = a very carbohydrate polymer dilutent in foods and drugs. Starch can be split into amylose and amylopectin.
large number of based on 'sugar' units Amylose is used for edible films and amylopectin in textile finishing and as a
repeating units. linked together by the thickener in food.
elimination of water.
Starch is made from
corn, wheat, potatoes,
rice and other cereals
by steeping in water,
milling and
STEEL See IRON Uses of steel: See IRON
SULFUR/SULPHUR The element sulphur Uses of sulfur : uses of sulphur: vulcanising of rubber, sulphur compounds are
(element) is a yellow solid with used as fungicides. It can be converted to sulphuric acid by oxidation and reaction
S atoms and compounds typical non-metal with water in the Contact Process.
properties i.e. low
melting, low density
and poor conductor of
heat and electricity.
There is a huge
variety of useful
sulphur compounds
e.g. polysulphides,
compounds and the
two oxides (see
SULFUR DIOXIDE/ Sulphur dioxide, a Uses of sulfur dioxide : uses of sulphur dioxide: bleaching agent, preservative -
SULPHUR DIOXIDE covalent molecule, is kills bacteria, fungicide. It is oxidised to sulphur trioxide in the Contact Process for
compound of a choking harmful manufacturing sulfuric acid.
SO2molecules acidic gas. It is
formed on burning
sulphur or a by-
product of metal
extraction of metals
from metal sulphide
SULFUR TRIOXIDE/ Sulphur trioxide, a Uses of sulphur trioxide : uses of sulfur trioxide: Most is converted into sulphuric
SULPHUR TRIOXIDE covalent molecule, acid in the Contact Process.
compound of colourless gas/white
SO3molecules solid, is a highly
corrosive dangerous
SULFURIC When pure it is a Uses of sulphuric acid: Sulfuric acid solution is used in lead-acid batteries,
ACID/SULPHURIC ACID dangerous oily liquid. detergent manufacture, fibres, pigments e.g. used in making white titanium
compound H2SO4 The covalent dioxide, in acid baths to clean metal surfaces, fertilisers e.g. the salt ammonium
molecules dissolves sulphate. Concentrated sulphuric acid is used in making dyestuffs,
in water to give an explosives.
aqueous solution of
hydrogen ions,
H+, and sulfate ions,
SO42-. It reacts with
metals, oxides,
hydroxides and
carbonates to form
sulphate salts.
SURFACTANTS A surfactant is a type Uses of surfactants: Soaps and detergents form the biggest use, they allow
compounds which act as of chemical that surfaces to be 'wetted' and interact with both water and grease/dirt etc. to
surface active agents lowers the surface dislodge them to give the washing action.
tension of water,
which is particularly
high due to the strong
hydrogen bonding
intermolecular forces.
SWEETENERS A synthetic or Uses of sweeteners: Sugar is used in many recipes and products fro cakes to
naturally occurring breakfast cereals. Aspartame ...
compound that is
used to sweeten the
taste of food.
T uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
TARTARIC ACID an A naturally occurring Uses of tartaric acid: Used in baking powders containing sodium
organic compound organic molecule hydrogencarbonate, they react together to form carbon dioxide gas which
containing the acidic classified as a produces the rising action in the bread dough or cake mix etc.
COOH functional group carboxylic acid.
TEXTILES See FIBRES Uses of textiles: See FIBRES
THERMOCHROMICS - Thermochromic/therm Uses of thermochromic paints : uses of thermochromic pigments: The change in
THERMOCHROMIC ochromatic colour with change in temperature by thermochromics is put to use in 'flat
PAINTS and compounds change thermometer strips' used in aquariums or on the forehead! Thermochromic
THERMOCHROMIC colour when heated or pigments can be used for novelty effects e.g. on coffee mugs so that they change
PIGMENTS (compounds) cooled. When colour when filled with the hot liquid.
See sufficient heat is
also PHOTOCHROMICS absorbed i.e. a high
enough temperature
is reached, the
molecule changes
structure. The two
different structures
create different
colours. The process
is reversed on
THERMOSOFTENING Type of plastic that Uses of thermosoftening plastics : uses of thermoplastics: See individual
PLASTICS/THERMOPLA softens when heated materials e.g. e.g. poly....,PVC, Nylon,... etc.
STICS and can be reshaped
in a mould or an
extrusion machine.
THERMOSETTING Type of plastic that Uses of thermosetting plastics : uses of thermosets: See individual materials
PLASTICS/THERMOSET sets to give a giant e.g. bakelite, melamine resins, ...
S covalent structure that
is tough, strong and
heat resistant.
THINSULATE Thinsulate is an Uses of thinsulate: Thinsulate is a commercial name for fibres (thin) used for
artificial synthetic fibre thermal insulation (insulate) in clothing e.g. outdoor gear. Duck down is
made from mixtures considered a high quality traditional natural insulation material, but thinsulate is at
of plastics-polymers least as good, and is less water absorbent more crush resistant.
like PET,
acrylics and others.
TIN (element) A typical metal in Uses of tin: Tin plating and a component of alloy solder used for making
Sn atoms many of its properties electrical connections.
e.g. high density and
good heat and
electrical conductor,
but has low tensile
strength and brittle
when pure.
TITANIUM (element) Titanium is a Uses of alloys: Titanium alloys are light and strong and used in the aircraft
Ti atoms and typical Transition construction industry and reactor vessels in chemical plants - both contexts
compounds Metal in many ways. require strength and good anti-corrosion properties. Titanium(IV) oxide, 'titanium
Titanium(IV) oxide, dioxide' is a white powder used as a white pigment in paints.
TiO2, is chemically
very stable brilliant
white ionic compound.
TRANSITION METALS Blocks of metals Uses of transition metals: Cobalt compounds give a blue colour to stained glass
elements which are and are useful catalysts. Chromium is used in stainless steels and chromium
Fe, cu atoms etc. and characterised by high plating to prevent corrosion chromium oxides and chromates give orange and
many compounds density, high melting green colours to glass. Need to look up other individual metals and their
points, high tensile compounds e.g. copper, iron, titanium,
strength, good heat
and electrical
conductors. The
metals and their
compounds have
good catalytic
properties and many
of the compounds are
highly coloured. See
also Metal structure &
notes and GCSE/IGC
SE notes on
Metals and Advanced
Level 3d-block
Transition Metal
U uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
UREA compound Urea is simple organic Uses of urea: It is mainly used as a fertiliser due to its high nitrogen content. It is
CH4N2O or (H2N)2C=O nitrogen containing also used in the manufacture of adhesives, pharmaceutical products and
covalent molecule. It dyes.
occurs naturally in the
urine of all mammals.
V uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
VANADIUM (element) VANADIUM is a Uses of vanadium: Vanadium is major component in many alloys like steel (iron
V atoms and compounds typical Transition alloy) and vanadium-aluminium alloys. Vanadium(V) oxide, 'vanadium
Metal. Metal structure pentoxide', is the catalyst in the Contact Process for the manufacture of sulphuric
& properties acid.
notes and GCSE/IGC
SE notes on
Metals and Advanced
Level 3d-block
Transition Metal
VEGETABLE OILS Unsaturated Uses of vegetable oils: An important food e.g. in cooking, salad dressing,
polyunsaturated conversion to margarine, biofuel, soap
VINEGAR and ACETIC See ETHANOIC ACID Uses of vinegar/acetic acid: See ETHANOIC ACID
W uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
WASHING POWDERS Specially Uses of washing powders: Mainly designed to be used for washing clothes and
designed detergent sheets in a washing machine.
WATER (compound) A simple covalent Uses of water: What would we do without it! Its a very useful solvent and reaction
H2O molecules molecule. A medium. Essential for life. Huge quantities are used in industrial processes as a
colourless liquid solvent, reactant and coolant (as it is in a car radiator).
freezing at 0oC and
boiling at 100oC.
WOOD (complex mixture Wood is a complex, Uses of wood: A structural material for building construction, furniture, carved
of compounds) primarily organic objects, doors etc. Paper is made from wood. Wood is roasted with most air
substance, with cell excluded to make its carbonised form we call charcoal.
walls containing large
carbohydrate polymer
molecules including
cellulose and lignin
which is a
polymer, together
smaller amounts of a
variety of inorganic
and organic
WOOL (complex mixture Wool is a natural Uses of woollen fleece: The clothing and textile industry
of compounds) protein fibre called
keratin mainly
obtained from sheep.
X uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures
Xenon (element) Colourless gas of Uses of Xenon: fluorescent bulbs, flash bulbs and lasers.
single atoms only
Y uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures

Z uses of materials - elements, compounds and mixtures

ZINC (element) ZINC is a typical Uses of zinc: prevent iron/steel rusting - galvanising coating and blocks for
Zn atoms and metal. Important sacrificial corrosion attached to underground pipes or ships hulls. It is mixed with
compounds. compounds include copper to make the attractive hard wearing alloy brass. One of the electrodes of a
zinc oxide, ZnO, zinc zinc-carbon battery. Zinc oxide is used in paints, rubber and plastic additives and
sulphide, ZnS. See as inert filler in electrical components. Zinc sulphide is used in luminous paint, X-
also Metal structure & ray and TV screens and fluorescent lights. Basic zinc carbonate is used
properties medicinally as an external application called calamine lotion for treating sunburn,
notes and GCSE/IGC sore skin and dermatitis.
SE notes on
Transition Metals
Looking around, you can obviously tell that things have different physical properties. A wooden desk will feel
hard and holds its shape. Water, on the other hand, feels fluid and has no shape unless put into a container. If youre
entering the world of chemistry, youre going to want to know the basics of chemical and physical properties.
There will be examples of chemical and physical properties given for several elements and compounds that you should
be familiar with. You should also check out a class on the principles of chemistry for more information. If
youre interested in observing chemical and physical properties first hand, you might want to try out the chemistry
experiments in this fun article.
General Information About Chemical Properties
Just as we can identify people by certain characteristics, matter can also be identified using different properties.
Chemical properties are those properties that change the composition of an element or compound. Examples of
chemical properties could include heat caused by combustion, a chemicals reaction with water, or the pH of an
element. Below are some example elements and compounds and their chemical properties.
H 2O
Also known as water, this particular compound is made up of two elements oxygen and hydrogen. While both oxygen
and hydrogen are more common in gaseous form, water is a fluid form. When frozen, it is known as ice, and when
heated, it is known as steam. Water is a chemically active compound, and its also polar. Because of its ability to self-
ionize, water is a better conductor of electricity than other liquids. Two water molecules together will react to become a
hydroxide ion and a hydronium ion.
Another interesting chemical property of water is its fascinating thermal properties. Have you ever noticed that frozen
water, ice, will float when placed in water? This is because the compound has become less dense while freezing, which
is unusual as most compounds will become more dense. The same can be said for heated water, which expands and
becomes more dense. Most substances expand and become less dense when heat is applied.
One of the two elements that make up water, hydrogen has interesting chemical properties as well. Usually seen as a
gas, hydrogen is actually made up of diatomic molecules. This means that there are usually two atoms of hydrogen
floating about, not just one. When mixed with oxygen, hydrogen can create water or hydrogen peroxide. It is a highly
flammable gas. Hydrogen usually becomes water or hydrogen peroxide through combustion. Because of this, hydrogen
can actually explode when simply exposed to oxygen.
The second element that makes up water, oxygen is also commonly around us in a gaseous form. This gaseous form is
actually two oxygen molecules together. Oxygen is not a flammable gas, but it does support combustion. There is a
particular reaction that most substances have when coming into contact with oxygen, and thats called oxidation.
Commonly known as table sugar (C 12H22O11), this compound has many fascinating chemical properties as well. Sugar
goes from a crystallized form to a liquid when heated at 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond 338 degrees Fahrenheit, and
it takes on new physical properties beyond simply being a liquid. Heat also has the ability to turn sucrose into the
crystallized form were far more familiar with. It is also a soluble compound, meaning it can dissolve in water.
Made up of two elements, table salt (NaCl) is an ionic compound that resulted from the neutralization of an acid and a
base. There are a related number of cations and anions making the end result a compound with a neutral electrical
charge. Like sucrose, table salt can dissolve in water or other solvents. How well it dissolves depends on the exact
combination of ions versus their interaction with the solvent.
General Information About Physical Properties
An element or compounds physical properties are far easier to detect. These properties are things that can be observed
without changing the identity of the element or compound. These properties include color, smell, freezing point,
boiling point, melting point, opacity, viscosity, and density. Some elements have different physical properties
depending on their chemical makeup as some elements can come in different chemical forms. Below are some
elements and compounds as well as their physical properties.
Known as the element Fe, iron has a melting point of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a silver-gray metal that is highly
malleable and ductile. It has great conductivity and can stretch well without breaking. Iron can also be magnetized,
and it has a nice luster to it making it nice to look at. Learn more about irons role in industrial chemistry
with an online course.
Known as the element, C, carbon can have two different colors depending on what form its in. Diamond carbon is
transparent and usually has no color. Graphite or coal carbon is black and very dark. Carbon is one of those elements
that can have different physical properties depending on what the chemical structure is. Diamond carbon is very
strong, one of the hardest substances known to us, but graphite carbon is very soft and is known to be used as the
lead in lead pencils. If you have a mechanical pencil, just take out one of those graphite sticks so you can see just how
different an element can be depending on its chemical makeup.
In its diamond form, carbon has very little electrical conductivity, and its considered quite brittle even as strong as it
is. Graphite, however, has great electrical conductivity, but it is still brittle. Carbon cant be made into wires or
pounded out into sheets because of its crystalline chemical property. You can learn more about carbon with a
class in organic and physical chemistry.
This particular element is usually a gas when found naturally in our environment, but there is also liquid helium. This
particular element doesnt solidify at normal pressure no matter what the temperature is. This element is less dense
than every other known gas except hydrogen. It has no color, taste, or scent, and it has a very low viscosity rate. It is an
inert element that doesnt form compounds or react with other elements.
Like helium, chlorine is commonly found as a gas. However, unlike helium, chlorine has a color and a scent. It is
greenish-yellow in color, and it has a very disagreeable smell. It is a very dense gas, about two and half times denser
than the air around us. It can be dissolved in water and even has an aqueous solution known as chlorine water. This is
a mix of chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and hypochlorous acid. Chlorines boiling point is -29.29 degrees Fahrenheit, and
it melts at -149.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Youre probably more familiar with potassium when youre eating a food that has potassium in it like avocados or
bananas. However, did you know the solid form of potassium is actually a silvery-white metal with a density lower than
water? It also has a melting point of only 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which is very low for a metal.
Common Name Chemical Name Formula
baking soda sodium hydrogen carbonate NaHCO3
sodium bicarbonate
bleach (liquid) sodium hypochlorite or NaClO
hydrogen peroxide H2O2
bleach (solid) sodium perborate NaBO3
Borax sodium tetraborate Na2B4O7.10 H2O
brimstone sulfur S
cream of tartar potassium hydrogen tartrate KHC4H4O6
Epsom salt magnesium sulfate MgSO4.7 H2O
Freon dichlorodifluoromethane CF2Cl2
galena lead (II) sulfide PbS
grain alcohol ethanol C2H5OH
graphite carbon C
gypsum calcium sulfate dihydrate CaSO4.2 H2O
hypo sodium thiosulfate Na2S2O3
laughing gas dinitrogen oxide N2O
lime calcium oxide CaO
limestone calcium carbonate CaCO3
lye sodium hydroxide NaOH
marble calcium carbonate CaCO3
MEK ethyl methyl ketone CH3COC2H5
milk of magnesia magnesium hydroxide Mg(OH)2
muriatic acid hydrochloric acid HCl
oil of vitriol sulfuric acid H2SO4
plaster of paris calcium sulfate hydrate CaSO4. H2O
potash potassium carbonate K2CO3
iron pyrite (fools gold) iron disulfide FeS2
quartz silicon dioxide SiO2
quicksilver mercury Hg
rubbing alcohol isopropyl alcohol (CH3)2CHOH
sal ammoniac ammonium chloride NH4Cl
salt sodium chloride NaCl
salt substitute potassium chloride KCl
saltpeter potassium nitrate KNO3
slaked lime calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2
sugar sucrose C12H22O11
TSP trisodium phosphate sodium phosphate Na3PO4
washing soda sodium carbonate Na2CO3.10 H2O
wood alcohol methyl alcohol CH3OH

Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements

Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
120 118 116 119 117 124 122 112 114 115
50 tin 10 Sn Sn Sn Sn Sn Sn Sn Sn Sn Sn

132 129 131 134 136 130 128 124 126

54 xenon 8 1 Xe Xe Xe Xe Xe Xe Xe Xe Xe

114 112 111 110 113 116 106 108

48 cadmium 6 2 Cd Cd Cd Cd Cd Cd Cd Cd

130 128 126 125 122 123 120

52 tellurium 6 2 Te Te Te Te Te Te Te

102 104 101 99 100 96 98

44 ruthenium 7 Ru Ru Ru Ru Ru Ru Ru

164 162 163 161 160 158 156

66 dysprosium 7 Dy Dy Dy Dy Dy Dy Dy

174 172 173 171 176 170 168

70 ytterbium 7 Yb Yb Yb Yb Yb Yb Yb
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
202 200 199 201 198 204 196
80 mercury 7 Hg Hg Hg Hg Hg Hg Hg

98 96 95 92 100 97 94
42 molybdenum 6 1 Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo

138 137 136 135 134 132 130

56 barium 6 1 Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba

158 160 156 157 155 154 152

64 gadolinium 6 1 Gd Gd Gd Gd Gd Gd Gd

192 190 189 188 187 186 184

76 osmium 6 1 Os Os Os Os Os Os Os

142 144 146 143 145 148 150

60 neodymium 5 2 Nd Nd Nd Nd Nd Nd Nd

152 154 147 148 150 144

62 samarium 5 2 Sm Sm Sm Sm Sm Sm

84 86 82 83 80 78
36 krypton 6 Kr Kr Kr Kr Kr Kr

106 108 105 110 104 102

46 palladium 6 Pd Pd Pd Pd Pd Pd

166 168 167 170 164 162

68 erbium 6 Er Er Er Er Er Er

40 44 42 43 46
20 calcium 5 1 Ca Ca Ca Ca Ca

80 78 76 77 74
34 selenium 5 1 Se Se Se Se Se
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
180 178 177 179 176 174
72 hafnium 5 1 Hf Hf Hf Hf Hf Hf

195 194 196 198 192 190

78 platinum 5 1 Pt Pt Pt Pt Pt Pt

48 46 47 49 50
22 titanium 5 Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti

58 60 62 61 64
28 nickel 5 Ni Ni Ni Ni Ni

64 66 68 67 70
30 zinc 5 Zn Zn Zn Zn Zn

74 72 70 73 76
32 germanium 4 1 Ge Ge Ge Ge Ge

90 94 92 91
40 zirconium 4 1 Zr Zr Zr Zr

184 186 182 183 180

74 tungsten 4 1 W W W W W

32 34 33 36
16 sulfur 4 S S S S

52 53 50 54
24 chromium 4 Cr Cr Cr Cr

54 57 58
26 iron 4 Fe
Fe Fe Fe

88 86 87 84
38 strontium 4 Sr Sr Sr Sr
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
140 142 138 136
58 cerium 4 Ce Ce Ce Ce

208 206 207 204

82 lead 4 Pb Pb Pb Pb

16 17
8 oxygen 3 O

20 22 21
10 neon 3 Ne Ne Ne

24 26 25
12 magnesium 3 Mg Mg Mg

28 29 30
14 silicon 3 Si Si Si

40 36 38
18 argon 3 Ar Ar Ar

4 3
2 helium 2 He He
12 13
6 carbon 2 C C
92 uranium 0 2 U U

4 beryllium 1 Be

90 thorium 0 1 Th

Primordial isotopes of odd-Z elements

unstable: italics
Z Element Stab Dec
odd N in pink
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
39 41 40
19 potassium 2 1 K K K

1 2
1 hydrogen 2 H H
7 6
3 lithium 2 Li Li

11 10
5 boron 2 B B

14 15
7 nitrogen 2 N N
35 37
17 chlorine 2 Cl Cl

63 65
29 copper 2 Cu Cu

69 71
31 gallium 2 Ga Ga

79 81
35 bromine 2 Br Br

107 109
47 silver 2 Ag Ag

121 123
51 antimony 2 Sb Sb

181 180m
73 tantalum 2 Ta Ta

193 191
77 iridium 2 Ir Ir
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
205 203
81 thallium 2 Tl Tl

51 50
23 vanadium 1 1 V V

85 87
37 rubidium 1 1 Rb Rb

115 113
49 indium 1 1 In In

139 138
57 lanthanum 1 1 La La

153 151
63 europium 1 1 Eu Eu

175 176
71 lutetium 1 1 Lu Lu

187 185
75 rhenium 1 1 Re Re

9 fluorine 1 F

11 sodium 1 Na

13 aluminium 1 Al

15 phosphorus 1 P
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
21 scandium 1 Sc

25 manganese 1 Mn

27 cobalt 1 Co

33 arsenic 1 As

39 yttrium 1 Y

41 niobium 1 Nb

45 rhodium 1 Rh

53 iodine 1 I

55 caesium 1 Cs

59 praseodymium 1 Pr

65 terbium 1 Tb

67 holmium 1 Ho
Primordial isotopes (in order of decreasing abundance on Earth[c]) of even-Z elements
Stable Decays unstable in italics[b]
Z Element [1] [b][1]
odd neutron number in pink
69 thulium 1 Tm

79 gold 1 Au

83 bismuth 0 1 Bi

Elements with no primordial isotope

No primordial isotopes
Longest lived isotope in years/days
Z Element t12 of[g][1] lived
94 plutonium 8.00107 a Pu

96 curium 1.56107 a Cm

43 technetium 4.2106 a Tc

93 neptunium 2.144106 a Np

91 protactinium 32,760 a Pa

95 americium 7,370 a Am
88 radium 1,602 a Ra
No primordial isotopes
Longest lived isotope in years/days
Z Element t12 of[g][1] lived
97 berkelium 1,380 a Bk

98 californium 898 a Cf

84 polonium 125 a Po

89 actinium 21.77 a Ac

61 promethium 17.7 a Pm

99 einsteinium 1.29 a Es

100 fermium 100.5 d Fm

101 mendelevium 51.5 d Md

86 radon 3.82 d Rn

105 dubnium 1.3 d Db

No primordial isotopes
Longest lived isotope in hour/min/sec
Z Element t12 of[g][1] lived
No primordial isotopes
Longest lived isotope in years/days
Z Element t12 of[g][1] lived
103 lawrencium 11 h Lr

85 astatine 8.1 h At

104 rutherfordium 1.3 h Rf

102 nobelium 58 min No

87 francium 22.0 min Fr

106 seaborgium 3.1 min Sg

111 roentgenium 2.1 min Rg

107 bohrium 1 min Bh

112 copernicium 29 s Cn

113 nihonium 19.6 s Nh

108 hassium 9.6 s Hs

110 darmstadtium 9.6 s Ds
No primordial isotopes
Longest lived isotope in years/days
Z Element t12 of[g][1] lived
109 meitnerium 7.6 s Mt

114 flerovium 2.6 s Fl

115 moscovium 2.2101 s Mc

117 tennessine 7.8102 s Ts

116 livermorium 6.1102 s Lv

118 oganesson 8.9104 s Og

Periodic table colored according to the number of stable isotopes. Elements with odd atomic numbers have at most one or two stable isotopes, while elements up to lead
with even atomic numbers all have three or more stable isotopes, except for the first three: helium, beryllium, and carbon.
Periodic table with elements colored according to the half-life of their most stable isotope.
Stable elements: Elements which contain at least one stable isotope;
Slightly radioactive elements: the most stable isotope is very long-lived, with half-life of over two million years;
Moderately radioactive elements: the most stable isotope has half-life between 800 and 34,000 years;
Highly radioactive elements: the most stable isotope has half-life between one day and 103 years;
Significantly radioactive elements: the most stable isotope has half-life between one minute and one day;
Extremely radioactive elements: the most stable isotope has half-life less than a minute. Very little is known about these elements due to their extreme instability and
See also[edit]