Rutherfordium Chemical Properties (23 Facts You Should Know)

Rutherfordium or Rf is a chemical element with a molecular weight of 261 g/mol and boiling point at around 5500 oC. Let us discuss more characteristics about Rutherfordium.

Rutherfordium is a oorgang metal that belongs to the d block with very high melting and boiling point due to its heavy atomic number and atomic weight. Rf is formed mainly from nuclear fission reactions and its stability is generally low due to its short-lived nature and is in the range of 14 hours.

Rutherfordium is named after Ernest Rutherford, who discovered the radioactive element. Let us discuss in more details about Rf chemical properties, cas number, density etc.

Rutherfordium symbol

A symbol is a method of designating chemical elements with short notations like one or two letters that could match with the name of the element. Let us discuss below.

The symbol of Rutherfordium is Rf. There are 4 elements in periodic table whose name starts with r. So to specify them uniquely in periodic table, each elements has the letter R and one more alphabet different for each. So rutherfordium gets the alphabets R and F ruled together.

Rutherfordium symbol with 104 as its atomic number

Rutherfordium group in periodic table

The columns aligned according to identical outer shell electronic configuration and valency are called as groups in a periodic table. Let us check the group for Rf.

Rutherfordium group in the periodic table is 4. The four elements in group 4 of a periodic table are Titanium, Zirconium, Hafnium and Rutherfordium. Group 4 elements has 4 valence electrons in their valence shells that takes part in any chemical reaction.

Rutherfordium period in periodic table

The rows aligned horizontally in a periodic table are called periods and there are 7 periods in a periodic table. Let us check to which period Rf belongs.

Rutherfordium belongs to 7th period. It is the last period in the periodic table with maximum number of electrons and larger in size due to its many shells that takes up the electrons in it. Size increases as we move down the group.

Rutherfordium block in periodic table

Block in periodic table specifies the set of elements whose valence electrons enter the same outermost orbitals either s, p or d. Let us check to which block Rf belongs.

Rutherfordium belongs to d block of the periodic table. It is because it falls under transition metal series whose last valence electrons enters a d orbital.

Rutherfordium atomic number

Atomic number of an element is defined as the total number of positive charge/protons present and is unique for every element. Let us check the atomic number of Rutherfordium.

Die atoomgetal of rutherfordium is 104 which means it has 104 number of protons present in the nucleus of Rf. It is arranged in an increasing order of protons in the element. It is also called as mass number and can be calculated using Mass number = protons + electrons in a neutral element.

Rf is a neutral radioactive element whose total electrons are equal to the atomic number.

Rutherfordium atomic weight

Atomic weight of an element is the relative average mass of atoms of a molecule calculated on the basis of its natural abundance. Now we shall learn more in details below.

Die atoomgewig of rutherfordium is 267 u. This molecular mass is calculated by multiplying the abundance of the isotopes mass and adding together.

Rutherfordium Atomic Density

Density of a substance is defined as how tightly all the ions or atoms in a molecule of crystal lattice are packed together. Let us study in details below.

The density of rutherfordium is 17 g/cm3. Density of substance is defined numerically as mass by volume. Rf has quite high density due to its greater number of unpaired electrons giving rise to metallic character. The electrons interact with nearby electrons tightly giving denser nature.

Rutherfordium Electronegativity according to Pauling

Electronegativity is defined as the inherent tendency of an element to pull electrons in its vicinity towards itself. Let us check below.

Rutherfordium elektronegatiwiteit according to Pauling scale is not yet found due to its short half lifetime. Pauling scale is method of determining electronegativity relative to the bond energy and covalent bonds of the atoms in a molecule.

Rutherfordium melting point

Melting point of a substance is the temperature at which a solid phase converts to liquid phase, in short, it exists in equilibrium. Let us check the melting point of Rf.

The melting point of rutherfordium is around 2100 0C. Rf belongs to transition metal series which has higher number of unpaired electrons in its d and f subshells. Greater unpaired electrons give rise to larger interatomic bonding that results in metallic bonding.

Thus, it gives metallic character to Rf and metals are known to exhibit high melting and boiling point due to the presence of many electrons that can move to and fro. Hence, Rf has high melting point.

Rutherfordium boiling point

Boiling point of a material is the temperature at which a substance just transforms in to vapor state. Let us check the boiling point of rutherfordium.

The boiling point of rutherfordium is 5500 0C. The boiling point of Rf is very high as it is a d block element that belongs to transition metal series. The transition metal has greater number of unpaired electrons in its subshells of d and f which can participate in forming interatomic bonding or interactions.

These interactions gives rise to metallic character due to its sea of electrons. As such, metallic bonding generates a high boiling point for Rf. At boiling point temperature, it exists in equilibrium between liquid and vapour phases.

Rutherfordium Van der Waals radius

Van der Waals radius is a distance between the centers of the nuclei of two non bonded atoms. Let us see below.

The Van der Waals radius of rutherfordium is 200 pm. 1 pm = 10*-12metre. The Van der Waals depends on the intermolecular forces of interactions between the particles in a molecule that are short range. This force exists in non bonded molecules even that do not form covalent or ionic bonds.

The moieties are held together by electrostatic forces of attraction and depends on the size and nature of the molecules.

Rutherfordium ionic radius

Ionic radius of an ion is the distance from the nucleus to the outermost shell containing electrons in a crystal lattice. Let us determine ionic radius of rutherfordium below.

The ionic radius of rutherfordium is less than 157 pm. Ionic radius of an ion is always less than covalent radius which is estimated to be around 157 pm.

Rutherfordium energy of first ionization

First ionization energy is the energy required to ionize first electron from the outermost shell of an element in its gaseous state. Let us study more in details below.

The energy of first ionization of rutherfordium is 581 kJ mol-1 which is required to remove an electron from the 6d shell of Rf. 7s electrons are not lost first as it is lower in energy than 6d hence stable. The energy order to remove valence electrons follows 6d> 7s> 4f.

Rutherfordium energy of second ionization

Second ionization energy is the amount of energy required to remove second electron from the outermost shell of an atom. Let us see more in details.

The second ionization energy of rutherfordium is 1380 kJ mol-1. This energy is higher than the first ionization energy as it requires greater energy to remove another electron from an already existing negative moiety. The element needs to be in gaseous state to get ionized.

Rutherfordium energy of third ionization

The third energy of ionization is the amount of energy required to release the third electron from the outermost shell of an element. Let us study more below.

The third ionization energy of rutherfordium is 2300 kJ mol-1. The energy is higher than first or second ionization energies as it requires higher energy to remove an electron from a negatively charged environment.

Rutherfordium electron configurations

Electronic configuration is a representation of how the electrons are arranged in the respective atomic orbitals of the atoms. Let us find below.

The electronic configuration of rutherfordium is [Rn]5f146d27s2. Rn is the symbolic notation of Radon, a noble gas element where Rn atomic number is 86.

Rutherfordium oxidation states

Oxidation state is the theoretical charge acquired by an element by gaining or losing electrons to form chemical bonds. Let us discuss in details.

The oxidation states of rutherfordium are +2, +3 and +4. Since, Rf is a d-block element, it can show variable oxidation states due to its many unpaired electrons. Due to the numerous oxidation states it adopts, it can expand its valency.

Rutherfordium electronic shell

Electronic shell is a group of atomic orbitals with same quantum number that represents total number of electrons in that shell. Let us discuss more in details below.

Die electronic shell of rutherfordium is These numbers represent how many electrons are accommodated in every n shells where n=1,2,3,4,5,6,7 are principal quantum numbers.

Rutherfordium chemical classification

Chemical classification is a process of determining an element based on its structural, chemical properties like reactivity or if it is hazardous. Let us check below.

Rutherfordium is a transition metal element that is radioactive and can cause potential harm to living beings if exposed beyond its limit. Its radioactivity precautions need to be measured.

Rutherfordium isotopes

Isotopes are group of atoms of an element that differs in number of neutrons resulting in same atomic number but different mass number. Let us check below.

Rutherfordium has no stable isotope due to its short half-life time and absence in natural form. Lighter isotopes are less stable like for few milliseconds (254Rf and 253Rf). Heavier isotopes like 261Rf, 265Rf and 263Rf are found to be stable for few minutes and 267Rf is found to be stable for 1 hour.

Rutherfordium CAS number

CAS number is a unique registered number that is specific for every chemical substance so that it gets easier to identify and recognize. Let us now  

The CAS number of Rutherfordium is 53850-36-5. It is specific for Rf only.

Rutherfordium ChemSpider ID

ChemSpider is a database that enables us to access physical, chemical properties of a molecule by generating unique identifier using free chemical structure. Let us see below.

The ChemSpider ID of rutherfordium is 11201447. This ID is unique for Rf and not for other molecules or atoms.

Rutherfordium state at room temperature

A state is a chemical nature adopted by an element in which matter can exist wither as solid, liquid or gas. Let us check the state of rutherfordium.

Rutherfordium state at room temperature is solid. It can be present only in solid synthetic form at STP due to its heavy and large size.

Is rutherfordium paramagnetic?

Paramagnetism is a phenomenon in which a molecule is attracted weakly to external magnetic field. Let us study in details below.

Rutherfordium is weakly paramagneties. It is due to the presence of only two unpaired electrons in d subshells. All the other valence electrons in 7s and 5f shells are fully paired.


Rutherfordium is a d-block transition metal element with radioactivity nature and can be synthesized only artificially. It is present in solid state.

Nandita Biswas

Hallo. Ek doen my Meestersgraad in Chemie met 'n spesialisering in organiese en fisiese chemie. Ek het ook twee projekte in chemie gedoen - Een wat handel oor kolorimetriese skatting en bepaling van ione in oplossings. Ander in Solvatochromism bestudeer fluorofore en hul gebruike in die veld van chemie saam met hul stapeleienskappe op emissie. Ek het ook gespesialiseer in Resin chemikalieë. Kom ons koppel deur LinkedIn-

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