Cobalt:

An image of glass coloured with Cobalt.  Many ancient cultures used Cobalt to colour glass for jewelry or to add colour to pottery. 

Facts about Cobalt:

  • Cobalt: Cobalt is a lustrious silvery-blue that is naturally magnetic. 
  • Fun fact about Cobalt: One isotope of cobalt, Cobalt-60, is radioactive and an important source of gamma rays. It is used to treat cancer as a tracer and it is also used for therapy. 
  • Chemical symbol: Co
  • Atomic number: 27

A crystal structure containing Cobalt:

Image showing CSD Entry: AQOLAV, Cobalt atoms shown as violet spheres.

Facts about this structure:

  • Formula: 8(C13 H7 N8 3-),13.5(Co 2+),3(Cl -),5.04(O2)
  • Structure name: cobalt(ii) (5,5'-[5-(pyrazol-1-id-4-yl)-1,3-phenylene]bis(1,2,3-triazol-1-ide)) chloride dioxygen
  • Fun fact about the structure: Metal-organic frameworks have the potential to transform a variety of gas separation and storage process including oxygen purification from air. 
  • CSD refcode: AQOLAV (What's this?)
  • Associated publication: Dianne J. Xiao, Miguel I. Gonzalez, Lucy E. Darago, Konstantinos D. Vogiatzis, Emmanuel Haldoupis, Laura Gagliardi, Jeffrey R. Long,  Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2016, 138,  7161, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b03680

More info:

In 1730, Georg Brandt started looking into a dark blue ore from local copper companies.  He eventually provided information that it contained unrecognized metals.  After publishing his findings in 1739, other chemists believed that Brandt’s new element was not something different, but rather a compound of iron and arsenic.  However, it was eventually recognised as its own element which we now know of as Cobalt.  Cobalt is found to be an essential trace element that forms part of the vitamin B12 active site.  As humans, the body contains about one milligram of it.  In animals, cobalt salts can be given in small doses to correct mineral deficiencies.

More info about the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) in crystals project:

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If you want to find out more about some of the terms and concepts we have a Frequently Asked Questions Page.

A visualisation showing the structure containing Cobalt alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: