Image of one troy ounce of arc melted iridium
Facts about Iridium:
- Iridium: Iridium is a metallic element with a silvery-white appearance at standard temperature and pressure (STP)
- Fun fact about Iridium: Iridium is named after the greek goddess of rainbow, Iris, due to the discovery of the element in strongly coloured salts.
- Chemical symbol: Ir
- Atomic number: 77
A crystal structure containing Iridium:
Image showing a tetrairidium (blue atoms) cluster with bulky supporting ligands.
Facts about this structure:
- Formula: C207 H255 Ir4 O21 P3,3(C H Cl3)
- Structure name: tris(μ2-Carbonyl)-hexacarbonyl-tris(5,11,17,23-tetra-t-butyl-25-(diphenylphosphinomethoxy)-26,27,28-tri-n-propoxycalix(4)arene-P)-tetra-iridium chloroform solvate
- Fun fact about the structure: The number of calixarene phosphine ligands bound to the iridium cluster core contributes to the unique chemical and mechanical stability of the cluster
- CSD refcode: WAWBIH (What’s this?)
- Associated publication: Alexander Okrut, Oz Gazit, Namal de Silva, Rita Nichiporuk, Andrew Solovyov, Alexander Katz, Dalton Transactions, 2012, 41, 2091, DOI: 10.1039/C1DT11734C
Iridium was discovered in 1803 as part of a residue left when crude platinum was dissolved in aqua regia. Iridium has many applications due to its attractive physical and chemical properties. Iridium is resistant to corrosion and most acids; therefore, is used as a catalyst and as an alloying agent. Iridium alloys are used in aircraft engine parts, deep-water pipes and spark plugs. Iridium is also used in devices such as high-temperature crucibles due to its high melting point. In Marvel’s The Avengers, Dr. Erik Selvig needed iridium to stabilize the tesseract-created portal to bring the Chitauri to Earth. However, there is no known use of iridium in stabilizing space portals.
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A visualisation showing the structure containing Iridium alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: