Ruthenium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Ruthenium | Descriptions, Properties, Uses & Facts

Ruthenium: A Deep Dive into its Properties, Reactions, and Applications


Ruthenium, denoted by the symbol Ru and boasting an atomic number of 44, is a fascinating element that resides within the transition metals group on the periodic table. Let's embark on a journey to uncover the intricacies of ruthenium, from its electron configuration to its diverse range of applications.

Atomic Structure:

Symbol: Ru

Atomic Number: 44

Atomic Mass: Approximately 101.07 u

Electron Configuration: [Kr] 4d⁷ 5s¹


Ruthenium typically exhibits variable valency, commonly +2, +3, and +4 oxidation states, lending it versatility in forming compounds.

Chemical and Physical Properties:

Physical State: Solid at room temperature

Melting Point: 2,334 degrees Celsius

Boiling Point: 4,150 degrees Celsius

Density: 12.45 g/cm³

Ruthenium is renowned for its robust hardness, resistance to corrosion, and excellent electrical conductivity, making it a prized material in various industries.

Reactions with Other Elements:

Ruthenium engages in diverse reactions with elements like oxygen, forming ruthenium dioxide (RuO₂), and with halogens to produce ruthenium halides.

Ruthenium Compounds:

Prominent compounds include ruthenium tetroxide (RuO₄), known for its oxidizing properties, and ruthenium trichloride (RuCl₃), a key precursor in catalysis.

Occurrence and Production:

While ruthenium is a rare element in the Earth's crust, it can be found in platinum ores. Extraction methods include complex processes such as refining and precipitation techniques.


1. Electronics: 

Ruthenium is vital in the production of thin-film resistors, capacitors, and other electronic components due to its stable conductivity.

2. Catalysis: 

It plays a crucial role in catalytic converters, enhancing the efficiency of chemical reactions in the automotive industry.

3. Jewelry: 

Ruthenium coatings add durability and luster to jewelry items.

4. Medical Applications: 

Ruthenium compounds show promise in cancer treatment research, exhibiting potential anti-tumor properties.


  • Ruthenium element discovered by Karl Karlovich Klaus in 1844.
  • It is part of the platinum group metals, often found alongside platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
  • Ruthenium's name is derived from the Latin word "Ruthenia," meaning Russia.


In conclusion, ruthenium stands as a captivating element with a rich tapestry of properties and applications. Its role in various industries, coupled with ongoing research into its potential medical uses, solidifies its importance in the world of science and technology.

Also Read:

Neon | Descriptions, Chemical and Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Nitrogen | Descriptions, Chemical and Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Beryllium | Descriptions, Chemical and Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Hydrogen | Difference between Blue and Green Hydrogen | Hydrogen Fuel

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