Iridium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Iridium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Iridium: Unraveling the Mystique of a Rare Element


Iridium, a remarkable chemical element symbolized by Ir, stands as a testament to the wonders of the periodic table. With its atomic number 77 and an atomic mass of approximately 192.22 u, iridium is one of the rarest and densest elements found on Earth. Let's embark on a journey to explore the various facets of this enigmatic metal.

Chemical Properties:

Iridium's electron configuration [Xe] 4f14 5d7 6s2,

 or 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 4f14 5s2 5p6 5d7 6s2 and valency of +3 showcase its ability to form stable compounds. One notable compound is IrCl₃, where iridium exhibits a +3 oxidation state. This compound, known as iridium(III) chloride, demonstrates the element's versatility in bonding with other elements.

Physical Properties:

As a member of the platinum group metals, iridium shares similarities with its counterparts in terms of high melting and boiling points. Its exceptional hardness and resistance to corrosion make it a valuable material for various applications, especially in harsh environments.

Iridium Compounds:

Apart from IrCl3, iridium forms a range of compounds with diverse properties. These compounds are integral to catalysis, electronics, and materials science. Researchers continue to explore the unique characteristics of iridium compounds for potential advancements in technology and industry.

Chemical Reactions:

Iridium engages in chemical reactions with other elements, contributing to the synthesis of novel materials. Its reactivity is often harnessed in catalysts, enabling efficient transformations in chemical processes. The interplay of iridium with other elements opens up avenues for innovation in the field of chemistry.

Occurrence and Production:

Despite its scarcity in the Earth's crust, iridium is found in conjunction with other platinum group metals. Mining operations, particularly in regions with platinum deposits, yield small amounts of iridium. The production of iridium involves complex extraction and refining processes, reflecting its precious and unique nature.


Iridium's exceptional properties find applications in various industries. The element is a crucial component in spark plugs, where its high melting point and durability ensure reliable ignition in internal combustion engines. Additionally, iridium's presence in certain catalysts enhances the efficiency of chemical reactions, contributing to the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.

Iridium 9555:

Beyond its role in the periodic table, iridium extends its influence into modern technology with devices like the Iridium 9555. This satellite phone, incorporating iridium-based components, enables communication in remote and challenging environments, making it invaluable for adventurers, scientists, and emergency responders.

Iridium Price:

Due to its rarity and unique properties, iridium commands a high market price. The demand for iridium in various industries, coupled with its limited availability, contributes to its status as one of the most expensive elements.


In conclusion, iridium stands out as a captivating element with a rich history and diverse applications. From its role in catalysis to the creation of advanced materials and even satellite communication devices like the Iridium 9555, iridium continues to shape our technological landscape. As we delve deeper into the mysteries of this rare element, its significance becomes increasingly apparent, reminding us of the boundless possibilities that the periodic table holds for scientific discovery and innovation.

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