Niobium • Transition Metal

Primary XPS region: Nb3d
Overlapping regions: Cl2p
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical stateBinding energy Nb3d5/2/eV
Nb metal202.4

Nb2O5 charge referenced to C1s at 284.8eV

Experimental Information


Interpretation of XPS spectra

  • Nb metal gives asymmetric Nb3d peak shapes, but Nb oxides have symmetric peak shapes.
  • Nb3d region has significantly split spin-orbit components (Δ=2.78 eV).
    • For Nb oxides, the FWHM of the Nb3d peaks is the same, for Nb metal the Nb3d3/2 peak is much broader than the Nb3d5/2 peak.

crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Nb
Date of Discovery: 1801
Name Origin: Greek Niobe
Appearance: gray metallic
Discoverer: Charles Hatchett
Obtained From: columbite

Melting Point: 2750 K
Boiling Point: 5017 K
Density[kg/m3]: 8570
Molar Volume: 10.83 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 41
Neutrons: 52
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,12,1
Electron Configuration: [Kr]4d45s1
Oxidation State: 5,3
Crystal Structure: Cubic Body Centered

Normally shiny gray, niobium when exposed to air at room temperatures develops a bluish tinge. This color makes niobium attractive for use in body piercing jewelry. Niobium is chemically very close to tantalum. Niobium is a compound in some stainless steels and is an alloy of other nonferrous metals, such as those used in pipeline construction. This element is a Type II superconductor, which means that it remains a superconductor even in high magnetic fields. Niobium gets its name from the mortal Niobe, of Greek mythology, who turned to stone after she wept for the loss of her children and husband.

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