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Johnson Matthey Technol. Rev., 2020, 64, (1), 84
doi: 10.1595/205651320X15753791710082

The Discoverers of the Isotopes of the Platinum Group of Elements: Update 2020

New isotopes found for Pt

Since the 2018 review (1) one new light isotope of mass 165 (2) and four new heavy isotopes of masses 209 to 212 (3) have been identified for platinum (Table I). The heavy isotopes are only identified as being ‘particle stable’ – that is resistant to proton or neutron decay but all are expected to decay by beta decay in which an electron and anti-electron neutrino are emitted when a neutron in the nucleus decays to a proton, so that the mass number of the daughter isotope remains the same but the atomic number is increased by one. The light isotope decays by alpha decay in which the emittance of a helium four ion means that the daughter isotope mass is four lower than the original parent isotope whilst the atomic number is reduced by two. The half-life is 0.4 ± 0.2 ms normalised from the reported value of 0.26 (−0.09 +0.26) ms.

Table I

New Isotopes of Platinum Reported from 2018 to 2020

Element Mass number Year of discovery Discoverers Reference
Pt 165 2019 Hilton et al. (2)
Pt 209 2018 Zhang et al. (3)
Pt 210 2018 Zhang et al. (3)
Pt 211 2018 Zhang et al. (3)
Pt 212 2018 Zhang et al. (3)
Table II

Total Number of Isotopes and Mass Ranges for Each Platinum Group Element to 2020

Element Number of known isotopes Mass number range
Ru 41 85–125
Rh 40 89–128
Pd 42 90–131
Os 43 161–203
Ir 42 164–205
Pt 48 165–212


  1. 1.
    J. W. Arblaster, Johnson Matthey Technol. Rev., 2018, 62, (3), 291 LINK
  2. 2.
    J. Hilton, J. Uusitalo, J. Sarén, R. D. Page, D. T. Joss, M. A. M. AlAgeel, H. Badran, A. D. Briscoe, T. Calverley, D. M. Cox, T. Grahn, A. Gredley, P. T. Greenlees, R. Harding, A. Herzan, E. Higgins, R. Julin, S. Juutinen, J. Konki, M. Labiche, M. Leino, M. C. Lewis, J. Ojala, J. Pakarinen, P. Papadakis, J. Partanen, P. Rahkila, P. Ruotsalainen, M. Sandzelius, C. Scholey, J. Sorri, L. Sottili, S. Stolze and F. Wearing, Phys. Rev. C, 2019, 100, (1), 014305 LINK
  3. 3.
    G. Zhang, C. Li, P.-W. Wen, J.-J. Li, X.-X. Xu, B. Li, Z. Liu and F.-S. Zhang, Phys. Rev. C, 2018, 98, (1), 014613 LINK

The Author

John W. Arblaster is interested in the history of science and the evaluation of the thermodynamic and crystallographic properties of the elements. Now retired, he previously worked as a metallurgical chemist in a number of commercial laboratories and was involved in the analysis of a wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.

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