The first type of particle accelerator, the cyclotron, invented by Ernest Lawrence, was used to synthesize many new elements.

Facts about Lawrencium:

  • Lawrencium: Lawrencium is a synthetic element, and is expected to have similar properties to Lutetium which sits just above it in the periodic table.
  • Fun fact about Lawrencium: Lawrencium is expected to be a very heavy metal, with a melting point around 1900 K - or over 2000 deg.C!
  • Chemical symbol: Lr
  • Atomic number: 103

A crystal structure celebrating Lawrencium:

In part of this crystal structure, a special molecular cage made of carbon (grey sticks) known as a fullerene is used to trap atoms of lutetium (green balls).

Facts about this structure:

  • Formula: C76 6-,2(C6 H6),2(Lu 3+),C36 H44 N4 Ni
  • Structure name: di-lutetium (Td)-C76fullerene-hexaide (2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octaethylporphyrinato)-nickel(ii) benzene solvate
  • Fun fact about the structure: Fullerenes have been used to isolate many different elements.  Perhaps someday scientists will be able to trap Lawrencium in this way.
  • CSD refcode: VILHEG ( What's this?)
  • Associated publication: Wangqiang Shen, Lipiao Bao, Shuaifeng Hu, Le Yang, Peng Jin, Yunpeng Xie, Takeshi Akasaka, Xing Lu, Chemical Science, 2019, 10, 829. DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03886D

More info:

Lawrencium is named for physicist Ernest O. Lawrence who invented the cyclotron, which is a type of particle accelerator.  Modern-day particle accelerators are used to create new elements, such as Lawrencium, by smashing smaller atoms and particles together.  Truly, this science has come full-circle.

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.

A visualisation showing the structure celebrating Lawrencium alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: