Periodic Table


Atomic number: 48
Atomic weight: 112.411
Symbol: Cd
Group number: 12
Electronic configuration: [Kr].4d10.5s2


Cadmium is a soft, bluish-white metal which is easily cut with a knife. It is similar in many respects to zinc. Cadmium and its compounds are highly toxic. Silver solder, which contains cadmium, should be handled with care.

General information

Discoveror: Friedrich Strohmeyer
Date discovered: 1817
Discovered at: Germany
Meaning of name: From the Latin word "cadmia" meaning "calamine" (zinc carbonate, ZnCO3) and from the Greek word "kadmeia" with the same meaning

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: silvery grey metallic
Density of solid at ambient temperature/kg m-3: 8650
Molar volume/cm3: 13.00

Radii /pm

Atomic: 161
Covalent (single bond):
Pauling radius for the ion [Cd]-: no data

Valence shell orbital radius maxima (Rmax)
orbital s p d f
radius136.8no data51.7no data


Both values are quoted on the Pauling scale.

Pauling: 1.69
Allred Rochow: 1.46

Crystal Structure

structure: hcp (hexagonal close-packed)

The following CrystalMaker image represents the solid state structure. For most elements, the most stable allotrope is illustrated. Try WebElements version 2 for interactive virtual reality and CHIME images.


Temperatures (/K)

melting point: 594.22
boiling point: 1040

Enthalpies /kJ mol-1

fusion: 6.2
vaporization: 99.9

single bond enthalpies:
Cd-F Cd-Cl Cd-Br Cd-I Cd-Cd
no data no data no data no data 7.37

Ionization enthalpies /kJ mol-1

Number Enthalpy


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance
106Cd105.906461 (7)1.25 (4)
108Cd107.904176 (6)0.89 (2)
110Cd109.903005 (4)12.49 (12)
111Cd110.904182 (3)12.80 (8)
112Cd111.902757 (3)24.13 (14)
113Cd112.904400 (3)12.22 (8)
114Cd113.903357 (3)28.73 (28)
116Cd115.904755 (4)7.49 (12)

Further Information

Copyright 1997 Mark Winter
Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HF, England.

The current version of this document is at http://www.shef.ac.uk/~chem/web-elements-I/Cd.html