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Article: Nickel


Introduction and Occurrence

  • Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28.
  • It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge.
  • Nickel is a hard and ductile transition metal.
  • It forms a passivation layer of nickel oxide to prevent corrosion.
  • Nickel is commonly found in combination with sulfur and iron in minerals like pentlandite and millerite.
  • It is also found with arsenic in minerals like nickeline and nickel galena.
  • Nickel is present in iron meteorites as kamacite and taenite alloys.

Production and Uses

  • 68% of world production of nickel is used in stainless steel.
  • 10% is used for nickel-based and copper-based alloys.
  • 9% is used for plating.
  • 7% is used for alloy steels.
  • 4% is used in other applications such as rechargeable batteries.


  • Nickel is a silvery-white metal with a slight golden tinge.
  • It is ferromagnetic at or near room temperature.
  • It has a high compressive strength of 34 GPa.
  • Nickel has a face-centered cubic crystal structure.
  • It has relatively high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Atomic and Physical Properties

  • Nickel has a Curie temperature of 355°C (671°F).
  • It has a lattice parameter of 0.352nm.
  • Nickel is hard, malleable, and ductile.
  • It has high electrical and thermal conductivity.
  • The crystal structure of nickel is stable under high pressures.

Isotopes and Compounds

  • Nickel has isotopes ranging in atomic weight from 48u to 82u.
  • It has five stable isotopes, with Ni-58 being the most abundant.
  • Nickel-62 has the highest binding energy per nucleon.
  • There are at least 26 characterized nickel radioisotopes.
  • The most common oxidation state of nickel is +2, but it can also have oxidation states of +3, +4, and exotic states like +1 and +5.
  • Nickel compounds include nickel tetracarbonyl, bis(cyclooctadiene)nickel(0), and various tetracoordinate nickel(II) complexes.
  • Nickel tetracarbonyl is a volatile and highly toxic liquid used in the Mond process for purifying nickel.
  • Nickel(III) compounds can form simple salts and can be stabilized by σ-donor ligands.
  • Nickel(IV) compounds are rare, with the mixed oxide BaNiO containing Ni(IV).


  • Nickel was unintentionally used as early as 3500 BCE.
  • Ancient Chinese manuscripts suggest the use of cupronickel around 1700-1400 BCE.
  • Coins made of nickel-copper alloy were minted in the 2nd century BCE.
  • The mineral nickeline was mistaken for copper ore in medieval Germany.
  • Baron Axel Fredrik Cronstedt extracted a white metal from kupfernickel and named it nickel.

Nickel Data Sources

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