Image showing a lab-grown sample of bismuth, with iridescent sheen due to a surface layer of bismuth oxide.
Facts about Bismuth:
- Bismuth: metallic grey element
- Fun fact about Bismuth: Bismuth is used medically to treat some stomach upsets as bismuth Bismuth Subsalicylate (as Pepto bismol in the UK).
- Chemical symbol: Bi
- Atomic number: 83
A crystal structure containing Bismuth:
Crystal structure of bismuth oxychloride, BiOCl, showing bismuth, oxide and chloride ions in purple, red and green, respectively.
Facts about this structure:
- Formula: BiOCl
- Structure name: PbClF type
- Fun fact about the structure: Bismuth oxychloride BiOCl gives pearlescence in cosmetics, and currently investigated for its photocatalytic properties.
- ICSD number: 29143 (Find out more about the ICSD database)
- Associated publication: J. Y. Xiong, G. Cheng, G. F. Li, F. Quin, R. Chen, RSC Advances, 2011, 1, 1542, DOI: 10.1039/c1ra00335f
Bismuth is one of the most strongly diamagnetic materials; it’s metallic but fairly brittle and a solid at standard conditions (but melts at 271°C). The metallic element is grey in colour but the iridescence on the surface of the sample shown above is due to a thin layer of bismuth oxide on the surface. Bismuth is said to be the heaviest element with a stable nucleus. Its most stable cation Bi3+ has an interesting electronic configuration which makes it useful in functional materials.
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A visualisation showing the structure containing Bismuth alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: