Platinum is a member of the platinum group metals and is lustrous, malleable and ductile. Of the group of six metals (Pt, Pd, Os, Ir, Rh and Ru), it is the most important. It is unaffected by oxygen and water and is only soluble in aqua regia or fused alkalis. Applications for platinum are many and varied; for example, it is used to make weights and measures standards, it is used in the electronics industry for electrical contacts which might be subject to high temperatures, and it is used to manufacture electrodes which might be subject to chemical attack. A current and important use of platinum is in car exhaust catalysts, in which a ceramic honeycomb is coated with platinum. Platinum is also used to manufacture jewellery and, along with gold and silver, has its own hallmark.


Known to native South Americans before the arrival of Columbus and was introduced into Europe around 1750. The first mention of the metal platinum in any written text was in 1557.

0.001 ppm in the earth’s crust.

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Atomic number 78 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 195.08 gmol-1Clip
Density 21450 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure fcc Clip
Lattice constant 392 fmClip
Melting Point 2042 KClip
Boiling Point 4093 KClip
Tensile strength 350000000 Nm-2Clip
Youngs modulus 150000000000 Nm-2Clip
Poissons ratio 0.38 Clip
Linear expansivity 0.000009 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 134 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Latent heat of fusion 113000 Jkg-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 69 to 72 Wm-1K-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (longitudinal bulk waves) 3260 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Irrotational waves) 2800 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Shear waves) 1730 ms-1Clip
Bulk Modulus of Rigidity 228000000000 Nm-2Clip
Electromotive Series -1.2 VClip
Electrical Conductivity 9430000 Sm-1Clip
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See also: Iridium, Osmium, Palladium, Periodic Table, Rhodium, Ruthenium.

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Subjects: Chemistry