Image of a Soviet commemorative palladium coin, a rare example of the monetary usage of palladium.


Facts about Palladium:

  • Palladium: Rare and lustrous silvery-white metal, resembling platinum. It is the least dense and has the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals.
  • Fun fact about Palladium: Palladium was named after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the epithet (a description) of the Greek goddess Athena after she impaled Pallas, accidentally.
  • Chemical symbol: Pd
  • Atomic number: 46

A crystal structure containing Palladium:

Image showing bulky carboxylate ligand facilitating preliminary CO incorporation into a palladium anhydride, displayed as blue spheres for palladium surrounded by red spheres for oxygen

Facts about this structure:

  • Formula: C66H90O12Pd3,CH2Cl2
  • Structure name:hexakis(μ-adamantane-1-carboxylato)-tri-palladium dichloromethane solvate
  • Fun fact about the structure: This structure represents an approach which broadens the substrate scope compared to a previous scheme to make β-lactam rings, a key feature of penicillin and other antibiotics.
  • CSD refcode: ABIDUN (What's this?)
  • Associated publication: Darren Willcox, Ben G. N. Chappell, Kirsten F. Hogg, Jonas Calleja, Adam P. Smalley, Matthew J. Gaunt, Science, 2016, 354, 851, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf9621

More info:

Iron Man’s amazing powers comes from the "arc reactor" embedded in his chest, which slowly poisoned him from the reactor's palladium. In reality, palladium can be toxic to the body. Uses of palladium include platinotyping; a method of photo printing using platinum. Platinotypes are the most durable of all photographic processes. They are prized for their matte appearance and archival stability. White gold is an alloy of gold decolorized by palladium. Palladium is also used to make watches, professional transverse flutes and surgical instruments. In daily life, its most often found in jewellery and dentistry while over half of all palladium consumed annually goes into automobile catalytic converters. Finding this rare element can be challenging, all six platinum-group elements put together make up only 0.0005 parts per million of Earth's crust. Palladium price continues to rise, it cost about $614/ ounce in 2014, and the price reached $1100/ ounce in 2018.

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 containing Palladium alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: