Dubnium (Db) Element: Important Properties, Discovery, Uses, Effects

Dubnium is a synthetic transition metal with an atomic number of 105 and is represented by the symbol ‘Db’ in the periodic table. It is silvery in appearance and belongs to the d-block of period 7 of the periodic table. Dubnium was the second transactinide (super-heavy) element to be identified. If a substantial amount is ever synthesized, its chemical characteristics should be similar to those of the transition metals.

Dubnium (Db) Element
Dubnium (Db) Element

Dubnium was initially created by bombarding americium-243 with neon-22 atoms. The discovery of dubnium is credited to teams of scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

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Discovery and History of Dubnium

  • At the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) Dubna, a team of researchers under the supervision of Georgy Flerov announced the discovery of element-105 in 1968.
  • The JINR researchers blasted an americium-243 target with neon-22 ions, producing two isotopes of dubnium, dubnium-261 and dubnium-260.
  • The Dubna team suggested naming the new element neilsbohrium (Ns) after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr.
  • Another group of scientist under the direction of Albert Ghiorso at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) produced the element 105’s isotope-261 in 1970.
  • The LBL team used nitrogen-145 ions to blast a californium-249 target, resulting in dubnium production.
  • They proposed the name hahnium (Ha) for the new element, after Nobel Prize-winning chemist Otto Hahn.
  • In the year 1997, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Council agreed that transactinide element 105 should be known as Dubnium (Db), after the Russian research site where it was produced.

Occurrence of Dubnium

  • Dubnium isn’t naturally found in the Earth’s crust; it must be synthesized in particle accelerators. It can never be prepared in a nuclear reactor.
  • All of the Dubnium isotope that have been identified so far have been synthesized.
  • Dubnium was initially created by bombarding americium-243 with neon-22 atoms.
  • Dubnium is produced by blasting californium-249 with nitrogen. It can also be produced by blasting americium-243 with neon.
  • Dubnium contains 12 isotopes having known half-lives ranging from 256 to 270.

Elemental Properties of Dubnium

Electronic Configuration[Rn] 5f14 6d3 7s2
Atomic Number105
Atomic Weight262 g.mol -1
State at 20°CSolid
Group, Period, and BlockTrans-actinides, 7, d-block
Ionic radius
Van der Waals radius
Electron shells2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 11, 2

Isotopic Information of Dubnium

  • Dubnium has 12 isotopes having known half-lives ranging in mass from 256 to 270. None of these are stable.
  • Dubnium has no stable isotopes naturally, but they can be created in a laboratory setting.
  • All of the Dubnium isotopes are unstable and radioactive.
  • The heavier isotopes are more stable than the lighter ones.
  • Dubnium comprises six main isotopes, with masses ranging from 262Db, 263Db, 266Db, 267Db, 268Db, and 270Db.
  • Dubnium-260 is formed when californium-249 reacts with nitrogen ions.
  • Despite its high radioactivity, Dubnium is composed of just a single isotope: Dubnium-268, which decays spontaneously after around 28 hours.
  • The most stable isotope, dubnium-268, has a half-life of 28 hours.
  • The majority of dubnium isotopes decay and emit alpha particles.

Physical Properties of Dubnium

  • Since dubnium is unstable, conducting a statistically significant investigation of its physical properties is challenging.
  • Due to its rapid disintegration, only few properties of dubnium have been investigated until now.
  • Dubnium is a synthetic, super-heavy transactinide element. It is expected to be a solid under normal conditions.
  • It is found in the 7th period, the 5th Group, and the d-block of the periodic table.
  • The melting point and the boiling point of the dubnium is yet to be known.
  • The atomic mass of Dubnium is 262.
  • Dubnium is expected to be a solid under typical conditions.
  • The atoms of the solid state dubnium are projected to form a body-centered cubic arrangement.
  • The production of isotopes with comparatively long half-lives is considerably more difficult, which presents another difficulty for dubnium research.

Chemical Properties of Dubnium

  • Since dubnium is unstable, conducting a statistically significant investigation of its chemical properties is challenging.
  • Dubnium’s appearance and ability are projected to be similar to the group-5 elements.
  • Appearing in group 5 of the periodic table, it is a transition metal. It is classified among the elements tantalum, vanadium, and niobium, with the expectation that it will resemble niobium among them.
  • There have been no experimental measurements of dubnium compounds, and all known predictions are theoretical.
  • Dubnium’s fundamental properties are believed to be similar to those of other group 5 elements including tantalum, vanadium, and niobium.
  • According to solution chemistry calculations, dubnium compounds with an oxidation state of “+5” are far more stable than those with states of “+2” and “+3.”
  • Calculations in solution chemistry also show that dubnium compounds with an oxidation state of ‘+5’ are substantially more stable than niobium and tantalum compounds in the same condition.
  • The most common oxidation state for dubnium is projected to be +5.
  • Dubnium’s chemical properties remain undetermined.

Synthesis of Dubnium

  • All elements with atomic numbers more than 100 can only be created through reactions in a particle accelerator, such as a cyclotron; they do not develop in a nuclear reactor.
  • California-249 undergoes bombardment with neutrons to produce dubnium, which collects 15 neutrons to generate dubnium-260.

Uses of Dubnium

  • Dubnium has no practical usage other than scientific research because of its extreme radioactivity.
  • Its principal application is the study of nuclear physics and the properties of heavy elements.
  • Dubnium has been used in studies to investigate the formation of super-heavy elements and its properties
  • It has no practical applications outside of scientific research due to its extreme radioactivity, but its study is critical for furthering our understanding of the universe and matter’s behavior at the atomic and subatomic levels. have been utilized to better understand the behavior of other elements in the same group.
  • A consistent scientific experiment intended to deliver an evident outcome requires a large number of atoms of the same element.

Health Effects of Dubnium

  • Because it is so unstable, any amount created might quickly degrade into other elements, leaving no incentive to explore its impact on human health.

Environmental Effects of Dubnium

  • Dubnium’s environmental ramifications are unnecessary due to its relatively short half-life (about 32 minutes).

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Jyoti Bashyal

Jyoti Bashyal, a graduate of the Central Department of Chemistry, is an avid explorer of the molecular realm. Fueled by her fascination with chemical reactions and natural compounds, she navigates her field's complexities with precision and passion. Outside the lab, Jyoti is dedicated to making science accessible to all. She aspires to deepen audiences' understanding of the wonders of various scientific subjects and their impact on the world by sharing them with a wide range of readers through her writing.

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