Periodic Table


Atomic number: 28
Atomic weight: 58.6934
Symbol: Ni
Group number: 10
Electronic configuration: [Ar].3d8.4s2


Nickel is found as a constituent in most meteorites and often serves as one of the criteria for distinguishing a meteorite from other minerals. Iron meteorites, or siderites, may contain iron alloyed with from 5 to nearly 20% nickel. The USA 5-cent coin (whose nickname is "nickel") contains just 25% nickel.

Nickel is a silvery white metal that takes on a high polish. It is hard, malleable, ductile, somewhat ferromagnetic, and a fair conductor of heat and electricity.

Nickel carbonyl, [Ni(CO)4], is an extremely toxic gas and exposure should not exceed 0.007 mg M-3.

General information

Discoveror: Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
Date discovered: 1751
Discovered at: Sweden
Meaning of name: From the German word "kupfernickel" meaning Devil's copper or St Nicholas's (OLd Nick's) copper

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: lustrous, metallic, silvery tinge
Density of solid at ambient temperature/kg m-3: 8908
Molar volume/cm3: 6.59

Radii /pm

Atomic: 149
Covalent (single bond):
Pauling radius for the ion [Ni]-: no data

Valence shell orbital radius maxima (Rmax)
orbital s p d f
radius127.6no data33.8no data


Both values are quoted on the Pauling scale.

Pauling: 1.91
Allred Rochow: 1.75

Crystal Structure

structure: ccp (cubic 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: 1728
boiling point: 3186

Enthalpies /kJ mol-1

fusion: 17.3
vaporization: 378

single bond enthalpies:
Ni-F Ni-Cl Ni-Br Ni-I Ni-Ni
no data no data no data 312.5 203.26

Ionization enthalpies /kJ mol-1

Number Enthalpy


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance
58Ni57.9353462 (16)68.077 (9)
60Ni59.9307884 (16)26.223 (8)
61Ni60.9310579 (16)1.140 (1)
62Ni61.9283461 (16)3.634 (2)
64Ni63.9279679 (17)0.926 (2)

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/Ni.html