Periodic Table


Atomic number: 30
Atomic weight: 65.39
Symbol: Zn
Group number: 12
Electronic configuration: [Ar].3d10.4s2


Zinc is a bluish-white, lustrous metal. It is brittle at ordinary temperatures but malleable at 100 to 150°C. It is a reasonable conductor of electricity, and burns in air at high red heat with evolution of white clouds of the oxide.

Zinc-deficient animals require 50% more food to gain the same weight of an animal supplied with adequate amounts of zinc. Zinc is not particularly toxic. Zinc is an essential element in the growth of human beings and animals.

Plating thin layers of zinc on to iron or steel is known as galvanising and helps to protect the iron from corrosion.

General information

Discoveror: Andreas Marggraf
Date discovered: 1500
Discovered at: Germany
Meaning of name: From the German word "zink"

Physical data

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: bluish pale grey
Density of solid at ambient temperature/kg m-3: 7140
Molar volume/cm3: 9.16

Radii /pm

Atomic: 142
Covalent (single bond):
Pauling radius for the ion [Zn]-: no data

Valence shell orbital radius maxima (Rmax)
orbital s p d f
radius120.0no data30.4no data


Both values are quoted on the Pauling scale.

Pauling: 1.65
Allred Rochow: 1.66

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: 692.68
boiling point: 1180

Enthalpies /kJ mol-1

fusion: 7.32
vaporization: 119

single bond enthalpies:
Zn-F Zn-Cl Zn-Br Zn-I Zn-Zn
no data no data no data no data 29

Ionization enthalpies /kJ mol-1

Number Enthalpy


This section gives some data for naturally occurring isotopes.
Nominal mass Accurate mass % natural abundance
64Zn63.9291448 (19)48.6 (3)
66Zn65.9260347 (17)27.9 (2)
67Zn66.9271291 (17)4.1 (1)
68Zn67.9248459 (18)18.8 (4)
70Zn69.925325 (4)0.6 (1)

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/Zn.html