Depiction of the Greek Titan Prometheus, from whom Promethium derives its name, by Heinrich Füger (Housed at the Princely Collection, Liechtenstein; Image Courtesy Wikicommons).

Facts about Promethium:

  • Promethium: Promethium is metallic in nature, and solid at standard temperature and pressure. Salts of Promethium(III) are usually pink in color
  • Fun fact about Promethium: Promethium, the last lanthanoid to be discovered, was reported from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1947 by Marinsky, Glendenin, and Coryell; and named  after the legendary Greek Titan at the suggestion of Coryell's wife.
  • Chemical symbol: Pm
  • Atomic number: 61

A crystal structure containing Promethium:

An organometallic complex of Promethium(III). The Promethium(III) atoms are represent in sky blue colour.

Facts about this structure:

  • Formula: C32 H24 Cl4 N5 O5 Pm
  • Structure name: bis(5,7-dichloro-2-methylquinolin-8-olato)-(nitrato)-(4,4'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine)-promethium
  • Fun fact about the structure: This compound, reported in 2019, shows both in vitro and in vivo anti tumor activity against a specific type of human cancer cells. 
  • CSD refcode: QIWMER (What's this?)
  • Associated publication: Ting Meng, Qi-Pin Qin, Zi-Lu Chen, Hua-Hong Zou, Kai Wang, Fu-Pei Liang, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry,  2019, 169, 103, DOI:  10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.02.066

More info:

Promethium is extremely rare in the earth's crust and produced artificially in laboratories by nuclear reactions on Uranium.  Because of its rare occurrence, the chemistry of Promethium is not that well explored.  This, however, does not make Promethium a boring element! Spectra of certain stars in the Andromeda galaxy show signatures of Promethium and the radioactive decay of Promethium has been utilized in designing atomic batteries!

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 Promethium alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: