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The oxidation state +1 is known only for osmium iodide (Os I), whereas several carbonyl complexes of osmium, such as triosmium dodecacarbonyl ( In general, the lower oxidation states of osmium are stabilized by ligands that are good σ-donors (such as amines) and π-acceptors (heterocycles containing nitrogen).
The +8 oxidation state is notable for being the highest attained by any chemical element aside from iridium's +9 The most common compound exhibiting the +8 oxidation state is osmium tetroxide.
This toxic compound is formed when powdered osmium is exposed to air.
Osmium forms compounds with oxidation states ranging from −2 to +8.
It is a very volatile, water-soluble, pale yellow, crystalline solid with a strong smell.
Osmium powder has the characteristic smell of osmium tetroxide.) is black, non-volatile, and much less reactive and toxic.
Only two osmium compounds have major applications: osmium tetroxide for staining tissue in electron microscopy and for the oxidation of alkenes in organic synthesis, and the non-volatile osmates for organic oxidation reactions.) has not yet been synthesized.
The lower oxidation states are stabilized by the larger halogens, so that the trichloride, tribromide, triiodide, and even diiodide are known.
It is a hard, brittle, bluish-white transition metal in the platinum group that is found as a trace element in alloys, mostly in platinum ores.
Osmium is the densest naturally occurring element, with a density of Because of its hardness, brittleness, low vapor pressure (the lowest of the platinum-group metals), and very high melting point (the fourth highest of all elements), solid osmium is difficult to machine, form, or work.