Zirconium • Transition Metal

Primary XPS region: Zr3d
Overlapping regions: B1s
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical stateBinding energy Zr3d5/2/eV
Zr metal178.9
Sr sub-oxides179-180.5
Zr (IV) silicate2182.7

Experimental Information


Interpretation of XPS spectra

  • Zr3d region has well resolved spin-orbit components (Δmetal=2.4eV).
    • Spin-orbit splitting changes with chemical state.
  • Zr3d peaks for Zr metal have an asymmetric peak shape.
    • The same is true for conducting zirconium compounds, such as ZrB2.

The oxide is reduced to sub-oxides by argon ion bombardment.

General comments

  • Zr is a reactive metal and Zr is usually found as oxide, ZrO2.
  • The oxide is reduced to sub-oxides by argon ion bombardment
  • Commonly seen as minor components in Hf-containing compounds.

hexAbout This Element

Symbol: Zr
Date of Discovery: 1789
Name Origin: Arabic zarkûn
Appearance: silvery white
Discoverer: Martin Heinrich Klaproth
Obtained From: zircon

Melting Point: 1852 K
Boiling Point: 4490 K
Density[kg/m3]: 6.52
Molar Volume: 14.02 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 40
Neutrons: 51
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,10,2
Electron Configuration: [Kr]4d25s2
Oxidation State: 4
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

At elevated temperatures, this silvery white metal can ignite spontaneously in air. It is found in S-type stars and has been identified in our own sun as well. Zirconium is used in flash bulbs for photography, in explosive primers and in lamp filaments. It is also used as the main ingredient of cubic zirconium stones. Similar in appearance to diamonds, cubic zirconium stones are sold as an affordable alternative to the more precious diamond. Although zirconium does not pay a biological role, human tissue does assimilate the element, making it suitable for some artificial joints and limbs.


Application Notes

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