Livermorium (Lv) Element: Important Properties, Discovery, Uses, Effects

Livermorium is a synthetic transition metal with an atomic number of 116 and is represented by the symbol ‘Lv’ in the periodic table. It is silvery in appearance and belongs to the p-block of period 7 of the periodic table. Only tiny quantities of Livermorium have been successfully synthesized, hence there isn’t much known about it based on experimental data, but some qualities can be predicted using periodic table trends.

Livermorium (Lv) Element
Livermorium (Lv) Element

Livermorium is an extremely radioactive element that does not occur naturally, is produced inside a laboratory setting and decays within milliseconds after being synthesized. This element, formerly known as ununhexium (Uuh) or eka-polonium, was created on July 19, 2000, by a group of American scientists working at the Lawrence Livermore National University (USA) and Russian Scientists working at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. Ken Moody and Yuri Oganessian led these two scientific teams. Livermorium was named after the Livermore city in California, America, where the University is located.

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History and Discovery of Livermorium

  • In the year 1999, scientists at Lawrence Livermore claimed the synthetic creation of element 116. This was achieved by combining the nuclei of krypton-86 and lead-208 to create ununoctium-293 (element 118), which then decayed into livermorium-289. They withdrew the discovery, nevertheless, when nobody could duplicate the outcome, not even themselves.
  • Several attempts to create the element-116 were unsuccessful until the year 2000.
  • In the year 2000, a group of scientists at Russia’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Dubna successfully synthesized the new element livermorium.
  • A single atom of livermorium-293 was identified at the Dubna facility after calcium-48 ions were used to blast a curium-248 target. (A calcium-ions beam was produced in a cyclotron (a particle accelerator) and blasted at a curium target.)
  • In a year-long experiment, two more atoms of livermorium-292 were created. The first lasted for 125.5 milliseconds, while the second lasted for 55.0 ms. By the end of the experiment, 2.3 x 1019 calcium ions had already been blasted at the curium target.
  • By 2005, 30 atoms of livermorium had been created using the same process. Following the experiment, another isotope came to light: livermorium-292.
  • The finding of livermorium was confirmed by GSI and RIKEN respectively in 2012 and in 2016.
  • The essential target material needed for the discovery has been provided by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • By 2012, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry had approved its name as livermorium.

Occurrence of Livermorium

  • Livermorium can be synthesized artificially. It’s a synthetic element that is extremely unstable. Its half-life is only a few seconds.
  • Lv is a synthetic radioactive metal formed by nuclear bombardment and has only been manufactured in trace amounts. It is only found in specialized laboratories due to its rapid decay.
  • The first atoms were formed by bombarding curium-248 with calcium-48 ions, resulting in a single atom of livermorium-292. It lasted for 46.9 milliseconds before undergoing alpha decay and transforming into flerovium-288. The element 116 atoms decayed into flerovium-289 through alpha decay.
  • Since just about 30 atoms of element 116 have ever been created (by nuclear processes involving the fusion of calcium nuclei with curium nuclei), extraction of a detectable quantity has never been possible, and may never be.
  • Livermorium contains four isotopes having known half-lives, ranging in mass from 290 to 293.

Elemental Properties of Livermorium

Electronic Configuration[Rn] 5f14 6d10 7s2 7p4
Atomic Number116
Atomic Weight293 g.mol -1
State at 20°CSolid
Group, Period, and BlockTransactinide, 7, p-block
Density12.9 g/cm3 (estimated)
Ionic radius
Van der Waals radius
Electron shells2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 18, 6 (estimated)

Isotopic Information of Livermorium

  • Livermorium does not have any naturally occurring stable isotopes, but they can be created in a laboratory setting.
  • All of the Lv isotopes are unstable and radioactive.
  • Also isotopes of Lv decay via alpha decay or spontaneous fission, but none of them undergo beta decay.
  • Livermorium has four known isotopes but two of the heaviest isotopes are 290Lv and 293Lv.
  • Lv-293 has a half-life of about 0.6 seconds and is currently the most stable isotope of livermorium known to scientists.
  • Livermorium is located near an island of nuclear stability focused on copernicium (element 112) and flerovium (element 114). Elements on the island of stability disintegrate almost entirely through alpha decay. Although livermorium lacks the neutrons required to be considered an “island,” its heavier isotopes decay at a slower rate than its lighter counterparts.

Physical Properties of Livermorium

  • Livermorium’s instability makes it difficult to conduct an objective examination of its physical properties.
  • Given its swift disintegration, only a few properties of livermorium have been studied to date.
  • It is a synthetic, super-heavy transactinide element.
  • It is found in the 7th period, the 16th Group (chalcogens), and the p-block of the periodic table.
  • Though it hasn’t been proven to function as a heavier homologue of the chalcogens, it is categorized as the heaviest chalcogen in group 16.
  • Livermorium is expected to have some features in common with its lighter homologues (oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium, and polonium) and as well as to be a post-transition metal, but it should also differ significantly from them.
  • Livermorium is expected to have a melting point of about 364 °C – 507 °C, which is higher than nihonium.
  • The boiling point of Livermorium is expected to be lower than polonium which is approximately 762 °C – 862 °C.
  • The atomic mass of Livermorium is anticipated to be 293. (The atomic mass of man-made trans-uranium elements is calculated using the periodic table’s longest-lived isotope. These atomic weights should be considered tentative because a new isotope with a longer half-life may be created in the future).
  • A density of around 12.9 g/cm3 is anticipated for moscovium.
  • The isotope of livermorium with the longest half-life is 0.6 seconds.

Chemical Properties of Livermorium

  • Livermorium is a highly radioactive element. Its chemical properties have yet to be completely investigated. Isotopes have short half-lives, and the compounds they contain are highly volatile, making conclusive chemical analysis challenging.
  • There have been no experimental measurements of Livermorium compounds, and all known predictions are theoretical.
  • It is the heaviest element in the 16th group of the periodic table.
  • Given its position on the periodic table, livermorium should display chemical properties similar to those of its homologous element, polonium. Oxygen, sulfur, selenium, and tellurium additionally share some of these chemical characteristics.
  • Livermorium is expected to act similarly to other chalcogens in the absence of experimental data. It might mostly resemble polonium.
  • It is anticipated that livermorium may have different properties than the lighter members of its group due to the orbit-spin interaction and relativistic effect.
  • Among the chalcogen hydrides, livermorium hydride (LvH2) is the one that’s heaviest and most homologous to water (the lighter ones include H2S, H2Se, H2Te, and PoH2).
  • Livermorium compound is predicted to favor the oxidation state of +2, because of the physical and atomic features, however some activity of the +4 oxidation state is possible. (Nothing approximating the +6 oxidation state is projected. With the exception of elements that are unable to expand their octet, all of chalcogens are assumed to have an oxidation number of +6).

Chemical Reaction of Livermorium

The reactions of livermorium are not conclusive.

  • Reaction of Livermorium with Air

Merely a handful of atom of livermorium have previously been created, therefore its reactivity with air is undetermined. However, one would expect its behavior to be comparable to that of polonium (directly above livermorium on the periodic table) and tellurium (two places above).

  • Reaction of Livermorium with Water

Merely a handful of atom of livermorium were ever created, hence its interaction with water is unknown. One would expect its behavior to be comparable to that of polonium (directly above livermorium on the periodic table) and tellurium (two places above).

  • Reaction of Livermorium with Halogens

Perhaps some atom of livermorium were ever created, so its reactivity with halogens is unknown. One would expect its behavior to be comparable to that of polonium (directly above livermorium on the periodic table) and tellurium (two places above).

  • Reaction of Livermorium with Acids

Just some atom of livermorium were actually created, therefore its reactivity with acids is unknown. One would expect its behavior to be comparable to that of polonium (directly above livermorium on the periodic table) and tellurium (two places above).

Synthesis of Livermorium

  • 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.
  • When curium-248 is hit with calcium-48, it produces livermorium-293.

Uses of Livermorium

  • Given that few atoms of this metal have been synthesized thus far, there are currently no specific or specialized applications for livermorium other than scientific research.
  • A constant experimental study aimed at achieving an obvious conclusion requires a large number of atoms. Perhaps a few livermorium atoms have been produced thus far.

Health Effects of Livermorium

  • Livermorium is a highly unstable chemical; when created, it swiftly decomposes into other elements, therefore it has no impact on human health. However, being a radioactive element it must be toxic.

Environmental Effects of Livermorium

  • Livermorium’s environmental effects are negligible due to its short half-life (just a few seconds).

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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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