Tantalum is a very unreactive metal and insoluble in acids, even in aqua regia. Its high melting point is exceeded only by tungsten, rhenium, osmium and carbon. Its considerable chemical stability makes tantalum suitable for the manufacture of apparatus used in chemical experiments such as spatulas and crucibles, and of dental and surgical instruments (pins for bones, prostheses, clamps, screws for jaws). Although the metal and oxides have virtually no solution chemistry, tetrabutylammonium salts of polytantalates are extremely hygroscopic.
More info about the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) in crystals project:
This project (#IYPTCrystals) is part of the International Year of the Periodic Table celebration (#IYPT2019), read more about the project here. You can follow us on social media using #IYPTCrystals and learn more about the wonders of crystals by following the CCDC on Twitter @ccdc_cambridge on Facebook ccdc.cambridge, on Instagram ccdc_cambridge or on YouTube CCDCCambridge.
If you want to find out more about some of the terms and concepts we have a Frequently Asked Questions Page.